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Forums / Long term support over the journey / Getting to know you...or is that me?

Topic: Getting to know you...or is that me?

  1. Croix
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    16 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara~

    I'll be brief tonight as I'm not in a particularly good place.

    I hope you never have to fight again, I meant being a warrior bequeaths is a certain knowledge you can overcome if needs be. It's - strength - confidence - experience - because you have done so before.

    Try not to grieve for what might have been - you are still you, older but you, and a pleasure to know.

    Nobody with sense would ever want to fight except to survive.

    I do not think It prohibits being tender and caring, in fact gentle strength may give more meaning both to the carer and the cared.

    I think it might be a fine idea to go back to learning keyboard

    I write the way I do (normally) because this place is a myriad of bleak corridors containing pain alternating with attempts at help, like an emergency ward. I want to bring a little in to soften the harshness - thank you for noticing and telling me. Saying that helped me. I'm glad I made you laugh.

    I too have to constantly keep referring back.

    I apologize for my brevity

    Croix

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  2. Just Sara
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    17 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Dear Croix;

    I'm sorry for my outburst. I have tears in my eyes after reading your reply. It isn't anything specific you said, just that I'm so over 'surviving'. My mind is awash with confusion and intolerance of this confusion. We all know that some days are more difficult than others. Today is one of those days I'm afraid.

    I'm also sorry you're not feeling at your best. Even so, your words are brilliant and on the money as usual. You HAVE bought a shift to our thread; intelligent, positive and refreshing.

    You are a gift...

    Sara xoxo

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  3. Croix
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    17 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara
    Dear Sara~
    Don't be sorry for any outburst, I'm going to have one of my own a little further down the page, hopefully without upsetting you as I really would not wish to do that

    First though I did forget one other attribute I wanted to say in my last post which can come with the strength of the warrior, but whilst writing it slipped away. It's the dignity that comes from both having fought and yet accepting what life hands you. I'm not sure how well I can explain as my mind is overwrought

    I guess an example would be Betty Churcher, watching all the loved artworks of the world fade away like the stars of the night before the strengthening dawn of blindness, yet fighting to retain her memories of each one them with an armoury of pencils and chalks in the battlefields of her sketchbooks

    [Caution, self-pity zone]

    An unfortunate legacy of my injury is prolonged bouts of anxiety, often triggered by an action I have taken. Here the mind enters the hamster wheel of revolving thought, unable to entirely break out, held in there by well-worn feelings of insignificance, watched over by old acquaintances doubt and dread

    To an outsider the whole matter involved would probably appear of no consequence at all

    Intellectually I am aware my thinking is distorted and that any anticipated adverse outcome will likely be trivial or non-existent - that is no help. I do have the small comfort of knowing it has happened and I have restarted normal life so many times before – however the clock of time passing to reach that end ticks so slowly - I have to endure.

    Some techniques such as exercise and distraction work a little, some such as relaxation do not. The thought that I made a friend laugh does.

    The irony on this occasion is that conscience dictates I would have to take the action I did again, even knowing that it was a trigger. In some ways we are trapped by ourselves

    Affectionately, Croix

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  4. Just Sara
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    17 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    My dearest Croix;

    Sigh...your words are infectious; I absorb them into me with enthusiasm and love. I don't feel embarrassed to say this at all. How words resonate within me, especially yours, gives pleasure and hope. I consider you an artist too. I 'love' Monet...simple haystacks that evoke internal emotional colour connections. I sense Claude in my heart as I gaze at his creations.

    Apart from your wonderful wisdom and insight, the spectrum of colour and translucent mystery in how you 'create' fills me. This may sound metaphysical, but when I read, I 'feel' that person's soul and intent. You bring me to tears so effortlessly. Not because I'm hurt, but because such beauty has been missing for so long in my world. To feel your intent through the magic that is you, returns hope to me, there exists men I can feel safe around. See, I'm tearing up again...

    Re your 'self pity'; it reminds me of how I felt last night. Tired of feeling confused and scared, wanting the 'fight' in me to subside and accept peace as my companion. My thoughts and beliefs are the enemy. Physical activity may give intermittent respite, but at the end of the day, finding and changing the cause of my triggers has been a tactical success.

    I had some electricians over to do some work. While they were there and for hrs afterwards, I suffered a major anxiety attack. Angry and disillusioned, I sat and recounted what had happened that morning.

    One of those men took his shoes off at the front door, the other walked dirt thru my house indiscriminately. This disrespect irked me to no end. I wanted to say to him to please remove his shoes before entering my home. But the words stuck in my throat; that's when the anxiety hit.

    My safety was at the core. Contributing factors such as fear of consequences, feeling trapped in my own home, this person being a man and facing an unknown outcome was too much to bare. Workplace/familial bullying 101...PTSD. Once I understood my own role in this scenario, the anxiety was stopped in its tracks; completely gone.

    Treating symptoms is necessary; treating the cause holds much more power. I continue to do this each time anxiety hits, and my recovery has been swift and substantial. I don't need med's so much anymore thank goodness and bouts are rarer. I am evolving...

    I hope my presence in your life is as important as you've been for me..

    Returning your affection...Sara xoxo

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  5. Croix
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    17 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara~
    Thank you. I’m greatly pleased my delivery strikes a chord with you. Your presence is indeed important to me, sparking my admiration and affection

    (Dottie and Corny reading this - for me this place is a gathering of like souls, my recent intrusion and difference in sex notwithstanding)

    I do craft the words with care, you already know one reason. Another is the satisfaction of putting them together ‘correctly’. I’m also aware they are reflections of my being; the sum total of my life; woven into an offering platter. Like the baskets that held fruits and vegetables at the Harvest Festivals of my youth, they are the platforms cradling the meaning of what I want to say

    (Mind you some might prefer plain speaking without all the fruit & veg:)

    There are so many throughout this world whom are worthy of your trust, with whom you can feel and be secure, people of honour, caring and intelligence, people who have strength when called upon. The trick I’m sure is how to recognise them, already a most difficult task without the overlays of past horrors clouding one’s judgment

    I suppose everyone fails to make the correct choice at times and it takes courage to keep trying, knowing it may end in loss, hurt and failure. I’ve been trying to say you have that strength

    If I might risk a personal observation, not becoming intimate with X at the first opportunity would have given you a chance to look at the real her without the overriding influence of instant warmth and closeness generated by such contact. You may have been able to see her more clearly as a result. Sex binds.

    I was frightened of the effect of my self-pity in that last post, I wrote it anyway - in the same spirit I admonished Dottie about only giving – I needed to receive and took a chance. (Dottie ~ My response to your careful self-reliant rational and lack of avatar is still -Hmmm*)

    I guess I did you an injustice in thinking that you might find it upsetting and difficult to respond to. Instead you gave me a post which, if I may say so, was one of great effect. Your appreciation of my words, and especially your telling of the workmens' visit helped. I don’t really know why it helped, but it did. Not you method of stilling your reaction through perceptive analysis, just the telling of the situation, just the fact that you felt what you did.

    You post helped

    Affectionately, Croix

    *= I reserve my opinion until I know more :)


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  6. Croix
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    18 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara~

    After our quick exchanges you have been silent for while, whilst not wishing to pry or intrude might I ask if everything is ok?

    I realize - and hope- you may be having a very full and happy life at the moment, however I ask on the off-chance things are otherwise.

    Affectionately, Croix

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  7. Just Sara
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    18 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix!

    A bout of depression, which doesn't hit that often, prompted my short but eventful 'time out'. It's given me pause...

    The offending issue eventually rose to the surface. It challenges me to my core, but instead of contemplating my best move, I received a surprise phone call which took up much of my time.

    The subject itself is old and known, it feels like my gut instincts telling me I can't put it off anymore. No more avoidance and no more excuses. Knowledge and skill I have aplenty, but cognitive ability might be a problem, at least that's what I've been telling myself.

    Without exposing too much, I can say if successful, the rewards are huge, risk is minimal, workload massive, and triggers may be overwhelming. My gut has yet to let me down so my option must be to 'do'.

    I spent most of today reorganising and Spring cleaning my home. An attempt to rid myself of unnecessary items and processes..clearing the proverbial cobwebs out. As a metaphor, it may have stirred the pot.

    I'm sorry if you were worried; though it's nice to know I was reported MIA. Normally I give heads up, but things hit quite randomly. I'm grateful for your thoughts, and glad my workmen anecdote was of interest.

    Within your (large) post, you've inadvertently hit on some major points for me needing attention. Honour, caring, strength, respect, trust and its recognition; as well as - sex binds. You are of course right on all counts. X has these traits in spades. She's stated there's no chance of a full on relationship so attachment is avoidable.

    There's more, but I'm not up to a speel tonight; sigh..sorry.

    I will have that 'plain speak' with a side of veggies though! Fruit for dessert yeah? He he

    Affectionately...Sara xoxo

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  8. Croix
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara
    Dear Sara, in your tidy spring-cleaned home~

    I’m pleased you are back and sad about the recurrence of depression. I’m also a little relieved you understood my concern over your absence and did not think of me as intruding

    I’d like to mention that your workman anecdote was not ‘of interest’ - a dry phase Sir Humprey might use on page 42 of an Administrative Services memorandum concerning forthcoming building maintenance budgeting

    That account was of real help – even if I’m not sure quite why – and slowed the racetrack of my mind like the crash car leading for a slow circuit. I would expect my mental equilibrium will improve in a day or so - depending upon the response I receive - if any.

    You sound determined over your old known subject. Please don’t be too rigorous with yourself. I read your posts on bullying in the Education Department. It confirms you are strong, wise, experienced, highly competent - but still human. You will get there. You have friends

    I’m not sure what to think about X’s inability to join in a full relationship. Whilst I’m sure you know best I’d wish more for you – no doubt due to my own nature which is probably a tad less independent or a soupçon more impatient, I don't know which.

    Affectionately, Croix (Who has somehow reached the unexpected milestone of 100 posts)
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  9. Just Sara
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Congratulations!!!!! 100 and counting..

    I'm so proud; you contribute such quality content. I'm confident you'll engage many more conversations with gusto and creativity, continuing to show the world how beautiful a mind you possess.

    Please don't be concerned about my depressive or anxious moments. I am more than willing to go thru these sad or turbulent times due to the learning and insight that follows. Yes, they're uncomfortable, however I've learned to value the pain...like childbirth.

    And; I'll take your 'of interest' comment under my belt for future reference..I laughed out loud! So I'll say; "I'm glad my anecdote promoted calm in your world"

    Thanks also for your positive feedback re 'known subject' matter. You're astute Croix...quite impressive actually. Critical analysis is your gig too I see. Yes, I have built up an arsenal of evidence, which puts me in good stead for future action.

    As with the workmen, using my voice to bring balance to un unbalanced situation has been my downfall. PTSD has silenced me, though not my resolve or courage. It's a work in progress...

    To divert...I've been thinking about 'transference'. As a CC it happened regularly in the beginning, but I've managed to block most of the distortion to find a more positive approach. It's fair to say we humans can take on the woes of the world, but I also feel we have the advantage of absorbing the positive energy as well. This has occurred with you coming onto our thread.

    This brings me to X. I find it advantageous not having the attachment of a f/t relationship. It's also occurred to me she has much knowledge and strength with govt issues; this hasn't gone unnoticed. She may well be my saving grace re this positive 'transference'.

    I'd also like to add, the sub-conscience is first port of call when important info is put before one prior to us consciously grasping its relevance. Even though my anecdote didn't 'compute', your internal radar bleeped. It's wonderful you're open to this!

    I have a penchant for writing this morning so our word count has claimed another victim; bugga! (How poignant a word! he he)

    I have appt's today, so Spring Clean-up is on hiatus. I will return as 'Arnie' says, with enthusiasm.

    *I'd love it if you'd cease and desist with apologies for intruding etc. You're a welcome breath of fresh air to our small but important community. Ok?

    ​Serenity...

    Sara xoxox

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  10. Croix
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara~
    Ta for the congrats. Franky I’m surprised at my level of involvement, not only here but in a other areas of the site, learning to contribute to matters where my experience is only tangential. I was at my whit’s end in my post yesterday in Wednesday’s “I’m not managing so well anymore”. I’m growing, and partially changing emphasis from my normal volunteer occupation as a result

    My apologies for intruding may not go away in a hurry. (Yes I know it can make warriors impatient) In normal life I’m reasonably confident in my own areas of expertise, though admit to being self-effacing in others. I am conscious however of 3 of my experiences. 2 were women during fraud enquiries whose will had been overborne by their males (and a mother) and had committed offences as a result

    Both were physically abused and kept prisoner by fear & circumstances (violence, money, kids etc). In addition I dealt with a public servant who was being stalked

    In all cases the effect on their lives was all-encompassing

    If one takes the hypothetical case of a child subject to the most ugly of physical and mental assaults, perhaps involving betrayal of love and trust, then that’s person judgments in later life may be coloured by the past. They might regard – quite rightly because of their experiences – any intrusion into their lives by one of the same sex as the perpetrator as - if not a threat - then at least a person to be regarded with circumspection. They may feel pressured. It may go further and involve anyone with the ability to get physically close – I don’t know

    Goes back to the fragile butterfly. Whilst it may be annoying and I may tend to loose peoples’ esteem by appearing to feel inadequate. I’d rather that than trigger unwelcome reactions. In my clumsy way I’m trying to be gentle. The same person may have differing reactions from time to time depending upon how they are feeling. With only text to guide me, feedback to my diffidence reassures me I am doing no harm and the person is well

    BTW You might care to explain ‘transference’ at your leisure

    My subconscious – and empathy – tends to play a big part. I’ll tell you a secret - I was never able to play the ‘bad cop’. My efforts in that area ware laughable. Giving a cigarette, sitting back and sympathising was horribly effective. I regret a lot of that now. Many had their lives ruined for trivial mistakes. Yet there are some who are evil and should be locked up forever.

    Affectionately, Croix

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  11. Guest_322
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hi Sara,

    Pleasure 😊 I'm astonished (but also very pleased) that you took my words to heart about returning to the keyboard. I hope it- your keyboard and music in general- keeps you company especially on your bad days and/or when you're feeling lonely.

    The girl at your music store sounds as though she was very helpful and friendly. About your son giving up because of the challenging parts, well, maybe if you find that piece again, you can play the parts that he gave up on. I get the impression that you'll persist more than him.

    Will you let us know if you find a keyboard/piano teacher and start lessons? I'm curious (nosy) about how that goes.

    Stay amaze.

    Dottie xxx

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  12. Guest_322
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    I'm glad you and Sara have been chatting freely on this thread. It almost feels as though you're writing letters to each other.

    About your "self pity" post, well, I think of it as more valid feelings and fears than feeling sorry for yourself. I'm glad you seemed to have found comfort in Sara's post- I think the 2 of your shared an understanding there.

    The hamster wheel sounds like a nerve racking and exhausting mindspin. I don't know...to tentatively add my 2 cents worth- bearing in mind that I don't really know too much about your PTSD background...sometimes I feel the intellect and our emotional worlds can be out of sync with each other. Like how you intellectually understood that your thoughts were distorted but it didn't exactly stop the hamster wheel from spinning. Maybe, as Sara suggested, when you better manage the root cause then you can better manage the symptoms.

    101 posts at last count! Credit to you, Croix 😊 Congrats!

    You and Sara speak the same language (Words) so I'm not entirely surprised that she was moved by your writing style. I think Sara described words as her "weapon of choice" in an older post. Hey, it looks like it might be yours too!

    You do write very well- careful, sensitive and engaging. As you said, those words are your offerings from all that you have learnt over the years- that definitely comes across here.

    As for my modus operandi and avatar-less state, well, it is what it is is ha, ha.

    Anyways...

    You stay amaze too.

    Dottie xxx

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  13. Guest_322
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara,

    It's interesting that you have, in your own way, come to terms with experiencing sadness and hardships by appreciating the insight that follows. I'm guessing while your approach doesn't exactly lessen any immediate pain- and that's probably not the point anyway- it helps you grow as a person.

    All the best with your "known subject" matter. I don't know too much about it but I hope your gut proves right again 😉

    As has been said by many before me, timing is often everything. So maybe with X and your non f/t relationship with her as well as her many qualities and govt. knowledge, it might just be the thing you need right now.

    Hugs and stay amaze.

    Dottie xxx

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  14. Croix
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Guest_322

    Dear Dottie~
    It's lovely to hear your cheerful 'voice' back again. I hope you had a great weekend -hopefully squeezing in some music. Incidentally I too think it's great Sara is contemplating keyboard, and I guess you're right - we have been corresponding directly in your absences.

    As for your modus operandi - you might well have it exactly 'spot on', my instinct from the very little I know gives me a nudge - but as I say I know very little, you are the person on the 'spot' after all (& going on 90:)

    The self-pity bit. I decided to say something as I'm coming to the conclusion that help from here is both needed and welcome. I'm glad I did.

    When it comes to root causes I think I have basically gone as far as I can. I was first tentatively diagnosed in 1977 and over the years have undergone immense improvements and also reached the current armed truce with my condition. (See White Knight's new thread)

    There's hope, why only a couple of years ago I started taking a new medication, which combined with techniques I learned years ago, stop me from often dreading going to bed - I can look forward to rest

    I am practiced at identifying triggers and taking avoiding/preventative action, and also have a whole stack of short-term remedies, some more effective than others.

    Unfortunately I felt duty bound to take an action that likely would trigger an attack, and now have the dreaded wheel to contend with (far better than the one in the Middle Ages - and no I'm not that old:). I'm still waiting on an email that, if positive, should settle things down

    Words as weapons? Maybe, I do know words are the delivery system and camouflage to sneak in the weapons which (so far as an insubstantial ghost consisting entirely of text and others peoples' imagination is concerned) are experiences, a faint smear of wisdom, homour and empathy.

    I try to place my words as carefully as you place your fingers when on the piano - with probably equal enjoyment. You probably get more than 2,500 key-strokes though:)

    100+ posts? I'm changing in unanticipated ways due mainly to support from the 3 of you, giving me an affectionate, solid foundation from which to sally forth - not that I can always find much to say. My direct experience is limited. Desperation breeds unusual attempts I guess.Glance at my post yesterday on page 6 of:-

    Forums/ Long term support over the journey/ I'm not managing so well anymore.

    - no idea of success.

    Hope Corny's managing

    Affectionately, Croix

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  15. Croix
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Guest_322

    Well folks~
    The hampster has escaped the wheel, streaking golden on pumping tiny legs, pronking and squeeling into the underbrush. The wheel has been cast out onto the towering weed-infested heap of past wheels to rust in company. Insignificance, doubt and dread have retreated muttering into the shadows, no doubt plotting their next encroachment

    In short the email I was waiting for arrived and was positive (What a lot of fuss!)

    Now that's out the way - Sara, do you have any views on the cc program?

    With affection, Croix

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  16. Just Sara
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Evening Croix and Dottie;

    Before I begin, I need to get something off my chest. I'm frightened. A drunk/mentally ill man just came up to my house while my door was open. (The screen was closed/locked) He mumbled some incoherent words and tried to get into the screen door.

    My little dog was barking his head off; I'd switched on the outside light prior to going to the door. When I could get a word in, I asked him to please move on. He didn't hear me and kept ranting. I asked him again. He turned and walked off towards my neighbours house. I closed/locked my door, windows and pulled the curtains.

    Panic and anxiety built until I couldn't stand it anymore. I'm here typing because..I don't have anyone else...tears...

    I try so hard to be strong, I do. But there are times, times I want a man to be here. I've done this alone for so long, I don't remember what it's like to feel safe. Damn, I can't see thu my tears. Taking a break..

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  17. Just Sara
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    I'm so glad neither of you saw my last post before I came back. I'm ok; I called Lifeline after I didn't get a call back from a friend. They were great and even gave some pearls of wisdom to bring me back to reality...great team there!

    I won't stop long. I'm exhausted. I'll return tomorrow night after spending more time on the house. Need to keep busy. Maybe see a movie. I'm embarrassed I've done this, but Dot, you know me...keys at the ready.

    I will answer your question Croix about CC's. And your posts up the page. Just not tonight ok? Please be assured I'm ok?

    Talk to morrow...Sara pxpx

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  18. Croix
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    20 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara~

    I am on my way out the door so cannot give this the time you deserve

    You were strong. Like many in a 'combat situation' you acted, and when the incident was over you suffered a reaction - You did EVERYTHING right.

    I'll tell you an incident of mine another time.

    How dare you feel embarrassed- you are not a cardboard cutout -you are our Sara!

    When settled take comfort in making a plan for similar situations - the same as you have a plan for an internal mental assault -I'll tell you a trick.

    All my affection, Croix

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  19. Just Sara
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    20 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Thankyou Croix;

    You're a kind yet strong man who tells it like it is...I love this about you. You are of course correct in all aspects of your words, so I find myself reflecting on who I'm becoming.

    I've changed my Avatar to an image of how I see myself at present. That's 'my' eye within a blue hue, the colour of emotional contemplation; laying on my pillow doing same. My username will also change (to just 'Sara') once approved.

    I now understand your reference's to me as being a warrior and fighter; I am a well worn survivor Croix. Coping under extraordinary circumstances where others might flail.

    A few years ago, I would've dealt with this situation very differently, and thanks to the Lifeline counsellor, this struck a cord. I took care of me first, as you said, doing all the right things.

    I haven't lived with a partner for 27 yrs since my marriage ended. Taking care of myself and my property is something I do instinctively. It's not having someone there to hug and cry to; a chest to lean on and safety within strong arms while I fall apart in the aftermath. That's why I panicked afterwards instead of 'during'.

    ..'our Sara'; this gave me pause and tears. Reading it was emotional. Not in a bad way, just very nice. It is what this site represents in real terms after-all.

    I'm still exhausted, so I'll take my leave for now.

    Serenity;

    Your Sara xoxo

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  20. Croix
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    20 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara~

    I think you have made a great choice with your new avatar. I really admire it.

    It is less aggressive, very feminine, knowing (in the sense of wise), appears to observe the observer, has just a hint of deep worldly experience and on my laptop changes colour subtly when scrolling down the page, rendering it almost alive.

    (it also does not have the enlarged pupil of someone on illicit substances - an excellent precaution:)

    The following is a blank space <..............> where I would have pointed out the merits of a well-chosen avatar to Dottie if I wasn't too tactful to do so - sorry Dottie I'm only teasing, I promise to be good in future.

    I agree also it high time for you to drop the Conna, you don't need a stereotype to bolster courage or image anymore, you are a bigger person now, exactly typified by your blue eye.

    Affectionately, Croix.

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  21. Just Sara
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    20 December 2016 in reply to Guest_322

    My dearest Dottie;

    It seems I've been inadvertently neglecting you. Due to Croix and I posting at similar times and frequency, the banter between us has increased. I always appreciate and look forward to your presence here...I'm sure you know this.

    I talk about the 'Universe' and how mysteriously, synchronicity magically puts the right people and situations in our midst to challenge and enlighten our way thru life. It's recognising and then taking up those opportunities that sets us apart from 'mere mortals'. Ha ha (Some arrogance from me for a change)

    I consider you a 'cut above' for many reasons as you're aware; I reiterate them at regular intervals to reinforce the value you represent to me and how precious you've become. And of course, to batter away at your protective wall.

    Your musical post was a pleasure for me to read Dot. Passion is infectious; seeing you blooming like a 'one off' lotus spreading its petals. Such beauty in expression is rare...

    My keyboard has been 'claimed' by my mum who refuses to let it out of her grip. So the white and black keys will be replaced by guitar strings, a more versatile option. (A laptop vs the bulk of a home computer) My son has one sitting in my spare room, so I might rescue it from its confines and dabble.

    I'm surprised you've chosen the sterile world of administration as a tertiary endeavour...all that passion will have to find its way through the forms and formality. Even psychology limits uniqueness.

    I'm still tired...sigh

    Hope to read you soon my lovely...

    Sara xoxo

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  22. Guest_322
    Guest_322 avatar
    1660 posts
    20 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Thank you for the warm greeting, and moreover, for sharing a little more about yourself.

    Your armed truce approach/mentality seems to be helping. Of course, I realise that you didn't reach this truce overnight and that a lot of hard work went into it (plus trial and error).

    You seem to have, or at least to a large extent, figured out ways to navigate the PTSD waters. Sure, I bet it can be very turbulent at times but it seems like you know your way around the waters. Much credit to you, Croix.

    I'm happy that the email presented a positive outcome for you. You must be so relieved! Hurray for escaping the hamster wheel! Phew.

    I think your careful wording definitely comes across. We- especially Sara- appreciate your writing style immensely and your words are really beautiful to read. It's also a nice contrast to my more casual and careless writing (complete with typos and blasted autocorrrect issues ha, ha).

    Joking aside, I get what you mean when you compare your writing to my piano playing. Same effect and intent behind your words and my playing- just a different delivery medium 😉

    I wouldn't exactly call your response to Wednesday's post "desperate." You gave it a go and spent time trying to show your support. Above all, it was sincere.

    My personal opinion is we don't always need to have direct experience when we respond to someone else's thread. We don't need to be experts (I'm definitely not). I mean, I don't see our role as trying to solve someone else's problems; I see it as showing support and offering suggestions and alternative perspectives.

    I'm extremely shameless and sometimes respond to threads where I've zilch relevant personal experience. Sure, there have been (many) times where I've asked myself "why on earth did you feel the need to respond?"

    But when it comes down to it, I think it's about empathy and (hopefully) helping someone else feel a tiny bit less alone than anything else (my 2 cents worth ha, ha). This mentality is a huge part of how I keep my sanity even though I respond to a fair few posts 😉

    Yes, I'm expecting 90 virtual candles on my virtual birthday cake for my 21st ha, ha. Corny is apparently 200-something (or was it 300-something) years old? So between the 2 of us, you and Sara will need to stock up on a LOT of virtual birthday candles.

    Anyway, my silliness aside, thank you as always for your thoughtfulness. You're much appreciated.

    Stay amaze.

    Dottie xxx

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Guest_322
    Guest_322 avatar
    1660 posts
    20 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara,

    Of course you were scared! That was frightening as well as a sad reminder of a certain isolation. Loneliness blows, doesn't it? To have been comforted and emotionally held up after a scary ordeal was what you needed but lacked.

    I'm glad you could come here and write to us. Although I realise it's not the same as having that physical presence with you at the time. Big virtual hug from me.

    Good on lifeline for helping you get you through it. I hope you have been taking it easy (or as easy as possible) on yourself today.

    Sara, huh? I kind of like that too. Sara Connor was awesome but Sara is probably, in some ways, more relatable.

    Ah...you found your new avatar. It feels as though your avatar and pending name change complement each other. It's still you; an evolved you, stripped bare. No blazing gun but you in a photo. No more Sara Connor but Sara. Stripped bare but in a good way.

    Thank you for thinking of me. I don't feel neglected. Conversations just follow their natural course so it's all good 😊

    Thank you for the high praise. I forever spill random words but I'm glad they seem to make some sense to you.

    Um...so your mum doesn't really play anymore but would rather the keyboard gather dust at her place than give it (return it) to you? I mean, if I remember correctly, she had long given up/gotten sick of playing. I know bits and pieces about her so I'm not exactly surprised...but still...

    Ah time to dust off the guitar and learn some chords 😊 While I'm disappointed for you about the keyboard, I'm glad that there is an alternative.

    Well, Commerce and Psych are both pretty flexible degrees in the sense that they can be used in many different fields. For example, if you're an accounting major (I'm not btw), there's no rule saying you have to work for your "typical" accounting firm or in the corporate sector. You could try for an accounting role at, say, a publishing house or record label. Or you could work part-time, and I don't know, teach dance classes at night.

    Or if you were a law student, people typically think law firms and the like. But there's no rule saying you can't venture out of that. You could be part of the legal team at a design house or theatre company.

    I personally feel it's not always strictly about the degree but it's about what we do with it. Lateral thinking, right ha, ha? I always keep my eyes peeled for interesting opportunities.

    Anyways...more super duper hugs from me.

    Love ya and stay amaze.

    Dottie xxx

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10542 posts
    20 December 2016 in reply to Guest_322

    Dear Dottie~

    I thought I'd tell you how much I value your warm presence here and your ability to provide clarity.

    But when it comes down to it, I think it's about empathy and (hopefully)
    helping someone else feel a tiny bit less alone than anything else (my 2
    cents worth ha, ha). This mentality is a huge part of how I keep my
    sanity even though I respond to a fair few posts

    I think you are so right.

    Even a small world made of empathy and care is the most precious of jewels. Some families have this, even a few (very few) organizations. Inside perspective and the things deemed important change. It is a balm to the soul.

    I could not read the posts in these bb forums where there is so much anguish and loss without forever discovering new and earnest deeds of help and humanity, freely given from those that have themselves suffered. Without that the place would be unbearable and I would have to shun it - as would most others.

    Your efforts (including the shameless ones:) and cheerful 'voice' (ha ha) help greatly to make this place bearable and an avenue of healing for so many (including me).

    (I bet you are really 90 after all and are just pretending youth - hmm.. that reminds me of Joan Collins for some reason)

    I spent 15 years at a uni in an honorary teaching position (applied computing & maths) after the 1st stage of my recovery and would be surprised if 60% went on to careers related to their degrees. Having the paper and mental discipline opens the doors (I'm no doubt telling you what you already know), so I'm not worried you are actually forced to go into a sterile environment - there's plenty of wiggle room.

    I wonder, do you manage to play piano much in front of others, if so do you have a favorite recital piece?

    Affectionately, Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  25. Guest_322
    Guest_322 avatar
    1660 posts
    20 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Wow, I'm astonished that my words received such a response from you. Thank you.

    I guess everyone here generally tries to support each other- hold each other up a little. Life is hard so we just try to empathise and listen, uh, read.

    Yeah, BB ages you- I was 20 going on 50 at the start. Fast forward a couple of months and I'm apparently going on 90. Give me another few months and I'll be 150 ha, ha.

    Joking aside, I think that's part of the beauty of these online forums. It brings people of all different ages and backgrounds together. Offline, most people gravitate towards those close to their own age (except for the worldy, wise-beyond-her-years-Corny) but here everyone sort of "chats."

    15 years was a long time spent in your teaching post. It's good to hear that there is wiggle room- wiggle room appeals to me.

    Nah, I don't really play much in front of others these days (unless my housemates count). If I'm feeling showy then Beethoven's 5th symphony (transcribed for a piano solo) or Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakof) is good.

    But aside from classical music, I'm fairly open minded about music of all genres and eras. Music is music, after all. On a more contemporary note, my most recent guilty pleasure is Don't Wanna Live Forever (Zayn and Taylor Swift). I just wish it wasn't associated with the 50 Shades of Grey movie franchise ha, ha.

    You stay amaze too. Night.

    Dottie x

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Croix
    Community Champion
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    10542 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara~

    How are you managing? (After any such sort of shock one can feel down or even disappointed)

    <...........> Space for obligatory intrusion apology left blank.

    Affectionately, Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Just Sara
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    21 December 2016 in reply to Guest_322

    Morning D-Girl;

    Firstly I want to comment on how your writing is changing; more confidence, ease, openness. It really suits you! Isn't it amazing what passion can evoke? You're coming into your own as the saying goes. And, you didn't deflect my complements! Yay...the wall is crumbling!

    I feel similar when I'm motivated by drive, ambition and creativity. It may be adrenaline at the heart of it, but it's a biological force meant to liven things up...useful at times.

    Croix, there's a couple of items of yours left unaddressed by me; transference - 'the redirection of feelings and desires and especially of those unconsciously retained from childhood toward a new object'

    Counter-transference - 'A situation in which a therapist, during the course of therapy, develops positive or negative feelings toward the patient. These feelings may be the therapist's unconscious feelings that are stirred up during therapy which the therapist directs toward the patient'

    When I mentioned transference, I was referring to triggers I experienced during posts vs positive attributes (in posts) transferred from one person to another. Eg..your presence on this thread encouraging different styles and focus. I hope this makes sense.

    The Community Champ's; you can be approached by, or make enquiries to the moderators on this subject. There are requirements and obligations including a contract and mental health care plan. We have contact with each other on a private forum for support. Every now and then, there's an invitation to members who want to become a CC, the last one was a couple of months ago.

    To be considered, moderators will scan your posts for signs of empathy and encouragement while posting on members (especially first timers) threads and frequency/quality of follow ups.

    Everyone has their own style of responding. And as you stated in your post to me on 'Comedy Relief', we're people who've suffered (and still do) trauma, BPD, anxiety/depression etc and want to pass on what we've learned. The range of qualities within our volunteer peer support group includes male, female, LGBTI, qualifications and age for instance. Every person brings something of personal value to the role.

    I hope I've explained things adequately re your inquiries.

    Love you guys...

    (Just) Sara xoxo

    2 people found this helpful
  28. Croix
    Community Champion
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    10542 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara~

    It's nice to hear you 'voice'. Thanks for the information, I've put in an inquiry to Chris B as a result - we'll see what happens.

    Hope you are ok

    Affectionately, Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Croix
    Community Champion
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    10542 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Dear Sara, Corny, Dottie~

    Corny~
    if you get the chance to drop in I'd find it good to know how your faring, Mother, Xmas and all.

    Dottie~
    Why be surprised, what you say is worth listening to - the age disparity is indeed a great thing, and provided one does not give in to the temptation to give one’s ‘benefit of experience’ too much and listens one can learn heaps enjoyably from a much younger perspective

    I’d disagree about 15 years being long, - 15 out of nearly 70 is only just a bit. Plus I tend to do things for long times, marriage, employment (paid or honorary), treatment of my condition, whatever. One grows into things and in my case that sometimes doesn’t happen all that quickly

    Your show pieces differ - 3 1/2 minutes of frantic keyboarding vs 35 minutes of strength - both excellent to listen to of course, do you get tired by the end of the 5th?.

    Your guilty pleasure is nice – though if you don’t know the outcome of book 3 it’s sad (and any way I’d sooner live with some pain rather than not a all) . The juxtaposition of the simple guitar with the rich voice is lovely

    Disregard its origin – the 50 shades lot is merely a romance in the ‘billionare’ genre with publicly allowable spice on top sold via the K-Mart – the author adapted her fanfiction from the ‘Twilight’ vampire universe

    I have a favorite from a B-movie “The Thomas Crown Affair”. It’s Michel Legrand’s “The Windmills of Your Mind”. When I’m a tad down I play the different artists’ portrayals in YouTube & decide which best suits my mood. Sadly my French is no longer good enough for those versions.

    BTW this is definitely on topic as the thread's ‘Getting to know you …’ after all

    Sara the Just~
    I went in with another officer to arrest a bikie (about an explosion) in a pub full of them. Actually nothing much happened but jeers and some 'oink's' (If you'll pardon the expression Corny) but when we got back to the car & had him safely in the back I went to pieces, could not even put the key in the ignition. The other member had to deal with things. Took a long time to get it together and then did I feel stupid, ashamed and that I was not to be trusted

    Much later of course I realize I did everything right - just like you. My reaction may differ on specifics from yours, but we both did react afterwards.

    As I'm pleased to hear you are on top with your physical security so I'll omit that trick for the moment.

    No idea what they'll make of my cc inquiry

    Affectionately, Croix




    1 person found this helpful
  30. Just Sara
    Champion Alumni
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    3398 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix!

    Sara the Just~ love it!! How creative...so you! It suits me to a tee I'd say, especially with my bully boy aversion and rants re same.

    Good luck with the CC inquiry, we need more people like you. Just in time for our get-together next yr.

    Re that 'trick'; now you have my interest. Nothing like tempting people, then withdrawing the offer for another day. Whaahh....instant gratification...NOW!! Ha ha lol

    With your biker situation, to me it would've been about the ability to just breathe after something like that. They can be so unpredictable, violent and arrogant. (Mind you, the bomb aspect would've been a challenge too) If we're predisposed, it's worse. I so get it! When I was in Corrections, there was plenty of situational stress. I worked with a great team (more than not) and found my intelligence and voice while there.

    In those days a Critical Incident wasn't heard of. I found a man dead in his bed one morning, and as the first responding officer had a lot on my plate trying to follow procedures and keep nosie-bodies out of his cell.

    My 'counselling' ph/caller asked me was I alright. I was of course still high on adrenaline and said; "I'm fine" and that's all she wrote. No follow up's or talking about it. Needless to say, I had to take 2 days off to recover once the dust settled.

    So many stories, so little space...

    It was the best job I ever had..sigh. I miss the comradeship, teamwork and socialising. It's not like that anymore unfortunately.

    I haven't chosen a guitar piece to learn yet, but I daresay it'll be a classic jazz number. I love Miles Davis to bits, though he's the go-to horn specialist. Maybe George Benson, but I think 17 yrs of practice may just put me in good stead for him. lol

    I'm thinking 'Classical Gas', what do you and Dottie think?? That's what my son dipped out on yrs ago. I remembered just now.

    I'm doing well today thanks Croix. I even replied to first posters, and started a new thread.

    Mmm..hmm...I'm back Jack!

    Sara the Just~ hugs galore xoxo

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