Enemy at my gates

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Mental Health

I have always been a very defensive person, through no fault of my own I have been subjected to external forces, or lack thereof and this has shaped the man I am today. This is a flawed man with much to be ashamed of, plenty to feel guilty about and even a few things to be immensly proud of, the pride usually doesnt affect me on a daily basis but the rest has and probably always will to some degree. the defecnes I have put up have been as varied as theyve been ingenious, so clever were they I didnt even know they were there, if the architect and builder are unaware then who is there to point these things out. The answer was no one for a long time then I was directed to the unit I attended and I saw others doing the same things for different but similar reasons and this was like a UV light shining on a place where only daylight had been used, my shock at discovering this also sent me on the defensive and it took a while to accept the facts and listen to the wise words of some venerable people who knew enough about me and what I was doing to show me the error of my ways, sometimes in a harsh way and other times more subtley, whatever the means they di so with skill and aplomb and I will be forever grateful to them, I have said so to their faces and this should be enough.

The defenses were very different depending on my situation, they ranged from humour, which was sometimes almost as aggressive as actions, I used violence when I felt it necessary, I wasnt a good judge in this and probably did a lot of hamr when a few choice words would have sufficed, my old excuse about never starting a fight wore thin enough for even me to see it was bollocks, I’m not proud of it but I did it, I own and I’m moving on. Another of my defences was to run, to hide myself away from first the outside world and in extreme cases my entire life, family , home and everything associated with the life I was living. escaping to deserts was selfish and necessary, no one cared who I was and assumed I was alone for my own reasons, the space this afforded me was a healing one and regardless of how bad it was in the long run it saved my life when nothing else was going to do it.

Now as bad as I was, which differs depending on who you speak to about it, my version is always worse than others but I have always been my biggest critic. I tried to protect everyone else from my alter ego and when I went to unit I did so for them as well, I was coaxed out of my hole slowly and in the end did not feel I had to avoid every possible stimulation in order avoid the bad stuff, in doing this I missed the good as well and that path leads to self destruction. I treated everyone with one exception with as much respect and care as I felt necessary, my one slip was an accident and a matter of thoughtlessness rather than spite but I atoned for it and moved on, lesson learned which was a change of circumstance for me at that point. In the past year or so I have grown aware of what ails me and worked damn hard to repair the damage, their will always be nasty scars left behind but the idea is to learn to live with these, maybe even wear them with pride at the ordeal I survived. I have been helped along the way as I mentioned and I like to think Ive offered others some succour where possible and tried very hard to at the very least not make things worse for them, not everyone I came across was on the same path and people fell by the wayside while others prospered in their wake, its life and thats how things work.

I was at the recieving end of some vitriol today directed at my weak points, an attempt to hit my achilles and either get me to break or snap, the difference one is a wound the other an emotional response which would have been damaging to everyone present and made my position untenable, this was the desired effect I’m sure and the reasons given were so trivial as to be ridiculous, the attack was pointed and barbed and in days of old would have been enough to send me into hyper aggressive mode, the beast unleashed as it were. I laughed it off, essentially I knew what was happening and treated it with the derision it deserved. this in itself is stellar for me, I even had the audacity to thank my attacker for the chance to test my reserve, I did defend myself in so much as I corrected the obvious errors but I didnt go down the road of tit for tat or recriminations, it was expected and even enquired about but I not only didnt do it I didnt feel like doing it either which far and away the most important thing. My problem tonight is I have done things for a reason which may not seem important but those reasons have been called in question and I have a residual worry that others will see this as possible and diminish my efforts in the meantime.

I dont do alturism, yes I volunteer a bit and have tried to be as helpful to others in the unit, bost past and present but for my own selfish reasons, in saying that I recognise there are positive side effects which everyone seemed to be enjoying. Now as a result of this attack I feel that why I do thes things is being used as a stick to beat me, that in doing them and even aknowledging the gratitude of those involved I am doing something underhand and just this seed of doubt could be a fundemntal issue for me going forward. I feel anger now as I sit here but not the kind I can use, I dont want revenge although I have carefully built my retaliation to gain the most effect, its fantasy as I dont want to use it but the ammunition is there and thats the problem for me. Why should i have to go through the efforts of controlling myself just to save my reputation which at this time is fairly good and justifiably so. I have to go back there and be the tough one, shrug off the abuse and do my best to use my inaction as a weapon, hoping that my lack of a response causes as much dismay as I suspect it will, but its hard and I would prefer not to have to. I honestly felt pretty safe in the group, not from challenges and sometimes misplaced ideas about what I should or shouldnt be doing but now I feel that my position is now one of defence again which can only bring about bad things if I allow it to grow, I am not going to rise to the bait this time, and if the person involved is smart they will accept they failed to get me into the position they planned and back off, I can honestly say I will be civil and polite, even if it is just to wind them up but if they cotinue along this line then things will eventually come to a head and No one else in the group deserves that. In the end its a waiting game, I miss next week then its the christmas meal which i foolishly arranged, things may be said and if they are I will treat them with due courtesy, ie ignore them or ask the person to desist for their own good, not a threat just a sensible plan of action. I have built a lot of barriers over the years and with help have dismantled the less helpful ones, I wont be putting up new ones so hopefully my own defences are adequate at least one more time, but only time will tell I guess.


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