Why am I always looking to the future?
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10-12-2016, 05:53 AM
Why am I always looking to the future?
I have always been a fan of sci-fi and have always been happy with change, even a touch of chaos, in life. That forms a bit of a pattern but not all new things are good I agree.

I often wnder why I seem to have this sense of optimism, this hope that the day will bring something new that I can get to grips with. When I look at my life story it seems a strange thing, but perhaps a psychologist would see it differently. Perhaps ''survival'' has become a way of life for me. Certainly, even as a kid, I worked out strategies and built ''survivalist'' kits, read everything I could find on protection from and survival of nuclear warfare (this was in the '50s - '60s).

From a young age, four I think, I was analytical, took my first clockwork toy to pieces then, just to see how it worked. I was always a practical person who could also meld in a bit of philosophy and psychology - ergonmics, for examples, was a great thing for me.

But some of my analytical tendencies might be due to ultra-awareness, fear, suspicion etc.

I cannot remember any of the details, only an RC priest who first let me ring the bell as a, perhaps, 7 year old, then let me light the candles - finally told me that he could give me private tuition to become a choir boy . . . The only sure memories are of a dim room, a man standing silhoutted against a window in a room full of heavy, ''Victorian'', furniture, me bleeding from a small wound at the back of my head and a very angry, 5 years older, sister.

Later the priest at that church changed and I asked my mother where Father (whatever his name was) had gone. She replied that he had been sent away because he, ''... liked little boys too much.''

Though there are no memories of any acual abuse it seems this is not unusual. What there has been is a kind of PTSD that has afflicyed the whole of my life. Any slightly embarrassing event, that I have done usually, evokes a physical and emotion reaction in me when I am alone. When in company there is not such a promblem, mostly, but I do an awaful lot of coughing to disguise verbal ejaculations.

Add to this being the last, possibly unwanted, child in the family who suffered emotional deprivation and no affection, whose every tiny wrong move was amplified into something really nasty and wwhose successes where largely ignored.

Now, add to this being bullied as the little, skinny kid who liked science and ''moving to music'' at first school who grew into the short, fat kid who liked science in secondary school being ridiculed and bullied became a daily thing. From both the boys and the girls.

The bullying continued into the RAF, into my 20's. FFor a while, on leaving the RAF, I became reclusive, this is nonthing for my, already inadequate, social skills. Exclusion was common, I was not invited to birthday or leaving luunches at the pub, nor parties at colleaugue's houses. This, of course, only made things worse.

I suffered a great deal of anxiety and depression but cigarettes were my only recourse to ''recreational substances'', I managed to keep of the booze as a crutch and had no access to other drugs.

There was no help comming froom the NHS, they are still not helpful unless you actually become a threat to yourself or others, and they often miss those problems. A fortune spent in Freudian-Kleinian therapy did fuck-all good.

It was actually the almost fatal heart attack that did some good, much of the depression and anxiety went away. The latter returned in another form after the therapeutic shocks my implanted defibrillator gave me, but that is not unusual and I developed strategies for alleviating those (though not useful strategies when one gets an anxiety attack in a public place - they involve swearing, shadow boxing and running on the spot!)

Now a friend of 20 odd years standing and I have had an irrecocileable difference of opinion, when she told me to, ''Fuck off if you don't like it!'' I still don't like it. My other close friend, also of 20 odd years standing and with whom I had lunch once a week and tea on Sundays, has moved to Devon to be close to her son, now tthat she is 73 and found her old house too much to maintain. We still email every day and speak on the phone a couple of times a week.

Her daughter-in-law has invited me to Christmas Day lunch, but I would have to stay with my friend. Family Christmasses were not always happy for me, I took every opportunity to avoid them when in the RAF, volunteering for guard duty over the holiday if necessary!

Christmasses at other family's gatherings are worse for me the jollier they are. All those family 'ín'' jokes that mean nothing to one just add to a sense of exclusion rather than iinclusion for me.

Now, at 72 with a very serious heart condition (that I seem to be surviving well above the statistical odds) and increasing joint problems (though I can still bend to pick things up and can stand from a short squat, get up off the sofa without pushing myself up on anytthing . . .) I have every right to be really pissed off. But I do not seem to be, the world owes me nothing but I still have a drive to leave it a slightly better place than I found it. Mainly I do this through my aspiring humanism - including charity giving, expressing good manners, helping others etc.

Thoe one thing I am not short of is cash, at the moment - even if my income is well below the national average.

So, despite, sometimes tens of, daily cringing, butt clenching PTSD events; despite my serious health problems I am, mostly, always looking forward to tomorrow.

Though, at the moment, with no friends nearby whom I can trust with a set of keys, no-one to bring me my mail or extra underwear should I end up in hospital and a very poor life record at making friends . . . I have to admit that this Christmas looks a little more fraught for me than usual.

Not looking for sympathy but if anyone has similar experiences I would be interested in how they coped - assuming they did!

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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10-12-2016, 08:14 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
(10-12-2016 05:53 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  I have always been a fan of sci-fi and have always been happy with change, even a touch of chaos, in life. That forms a bit of a pattern but not all new things are good I agree.

I often wnder why I seem to have this sense of optimism, this hope that the day will bring something new that I can get to grips with. When I look at my life story it seems a strange thing, but perhaps a psychologist would see it differently. Perhaps ''survival'' has become a way of life for me. Certainly, even as a kid, I worked out strategies and built ''survivalist'' kits, read everything I could find on protection from and survival of nuclear warfare (this was in the '50s - '60s).

From a young age, four I think, I was analytical, took my first clockwork toy to pieces then, just to see how it worked. I was always a practical person who could also meld in a bit of philosophy and psychology - ergonmics, for examples, was a great thing for me.

But some of my analytical tendencies might be due to ultra-awareness, fear, suspicion etc.

I cannot remember any of the details, only an RC priest who first let me ring the bell as a, perhaps, 7 year old, then let me light the candles - finally told me that he could give me private tuition to become a choir boy . . . The only sure memories are of a dim room, a man standing silhoutted against a window in a room full of heavy, ''Victorian'', furniture, me bleeding from a small wound at the back of my head and a very angry, 5 years older, sister.

Later the priest at that church changed and I asked my mother where Father (whatever his name was) had gone. She replied that he had been sent away because he, ''... liked little boys too much.''

Though there are no memories of any acual abuse it seems this is not unusual. What there has been is a kind of PTSD that has afflicyed the whole of my life. Any slightly embarrassing event, that I have done usually, evokes a physical and emotion reaction in me when I am alone. When in company there is not such a promblem, mostly, but I do an awaful lot of coughing to disguise verbal ejaculations.

Add to this being the last, possibly unwanted, child in the family who suffered emotional deprivation and no affection, whose every tiny wrong move was amplified into something really nasty and wwhose successes where largely ignored.

Now, add to this being bullied as the little, skinny kid who liked science and ''moving to music'' at first school who grew into the short, fat kid who liked science in secondary school being ridiculed and bullied became a daily thing. From both the boys and the girls.

The bullying continued into the RAF, into my 20's. FFor a while, on leaving the RAF, I became reclusive, this is nonthing for my, already inadequate, social skills. Exclusion was common, I was not invited to birthday or leaving luunches at the pub, nor parties at colleaugue's houses. This, of course, only made things worse.

I suffered a great deal of anxiety and depression but cigarettes were my only recourse to ''recreational substances'', I managed to keep of the booze as a crutch and had no access to other drugs.

There was no help comming froom the NHS, they are still not helpful unless you actually become a threat to yourself or others, and they often miss those problems. A fortune spent in Freudian-Kleinian therapy did fuck-all good.

It was actually the almost fatal heart attack that did some good, much of the depression and anxiety went away. The latter returned in another form after the therapeutic shocks my implanted defibrillator gave me, but that is not unusual and I developed strategies for alleviating those (though not useful strategies when one gets an anxiety attack in a public place - they involve swearing, shadow boxing and running on the spot!)

Now a friend of 20 odd years standing and I have had an irrecocileable difference of opinion, when she told me to, ''Fuck off if you don't like it!'' I still don't like it. My other close friend, also of 20 odd years standing and with whom I had lunch once a week and tea on Sundays, has moved to Devon to be close to her son, now tthat she is 73 and found her old house too much to maintain. We still email every day and speak on the phone a couple of times a week.

Her daughter-in-law has invited me to Christmas Day lunch, but I would have to stay with my friend. Family Christmasses were not always happy for me, I took every opportunity to avoid them when in the RAF, volunteering for guard duty over the holiday if necessary!

Christmasses at other family's gatherings are worse for me the jollier they are. All those family 'ín'' jokes that mean nothing to one just add to a sense of exclusion rather than iinclusion for me.

Now, at 72 with a very serious heart condition (that I seem to be surviving well above the statistical odds) and increasing joint problems (though I can still bend to pick things up and can stand from a short squat, get up off the sofa without pushing myself up on anytthing . . .) I have every right to be really pissed off. But I do not seem to be, the world owes me nothing but I still have a drive to leave it a slightly better place than I found it. Mainly I do this through my aspiring humanism - including charity giving, expressing good manners, helping others etc.

Thoe one thing I am not short of is cash, at the moment - even if my income is well below the national average.

So, despite, sometimes tens of, daily cringing, butt clenching PTSD events; despite my serious health problems I am, mostly, always looking forward to tomorrow.

Though, at the moment, with no friends nearby whom I can trust with a set of keys, no-one to bring me my mail or extra underwear should I end up in hospital and a very poor life record at making friends . . . I have to admit that this Christmas looks a little more fraught for me than usual.

Not looking for sympathy but if anyone has similar experiences I would be interested in how they coped - assuming they did!

Wow, what a story. I share the abuse part, albeit I was younger and it was not a priest and it went on for years. I remember bits and pieces... I only have PTSD when the topic comes up (not right now thankfully Smile )

My current situation is very similar to yours, pretty much everyone I knew well is dead. I have the same distrust of most people I know currently, and being an introvert, I am not really inclined to go out and make new friends anymore.

I turn down holiday invitations routinely because I would hate spending them with groups of people I am not familiar with. Plus I have animals who mean the world to me, and no one to care for them during my absence. Add in that my husband died xmas morning and... just forget the holidays. I spend them spoiling myself at home. I buy my own presents and am getting better at just making myself content and happy.

But on a practical side, as you point out, the lack of people I trust completely is a big worry, ending up in a hospital I would have to have someone, and someone special, to care for my animals. It has me thinking of volunteering at a local shelter to meet some animal lovers.

What helps me cope is my dogs and my garden. Dogs return tons of love, affection and protection. The garden is very soothing and uplifting to me, even if I have to have someone come in to do the harder work there. The other thing that helps me cope is that I can spoil myself and enjoy it. That is actually a learned thing for me.

So, day to day I have a good life (the various physical pains of aging notwithstanding). But the worry about what happens should I be incapacitated remains...

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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10-12-2016, 08:45 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
Both of you get some hugs from me.
Gloucester, that is quite a revealing post. How you present yourself and how you really feel (sometimes) are quite different. That forward looking optimism shines out here. It has colored your outlook in the best way possible, considering the circumstances.
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10-12-2016, 09:03 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
Yes, Dom, age and/or infirmity often bring new aspects to life. Like you, in many ways, I feel that life is better now than, say, 20 years ago. Retirement helped, as did financial indepence.

The heart attack was like a wake-up call in some ways, acted at a fairly deep level. That I have lost all my self-loathing and built onmy inherent confidence in almost all practical things and certain social things (was never afraid of public speaking or - when I was absolutely sure - of speaking my opinion.)

It certainly is that builing of close and reliable fruendships that is worst. My immediate neighbour, though 20 years younger than I, is medically badly off , mainly due to his lifestyle (smoking, a liking for lager and lots of food etc.) health issues. It is more difficult for him to get the the hospital than me, he is banned from driving for medical reasons.

In some ways, perhaps because I "own" my physical and psychological problems, because I can research them and work out compensating strategies sometimes, I am probably better of than some with a similar life experience.

Just that, at the moment, I don't have any strategies worked out to establish another close friendship nearby.

Wish I was an animal person, but having much beyond a pet rat or a budgie is not recommended when you live in a single room on the second floor!

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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10-12-2016, 09:10 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
It might be painful, but you could try some nearby senior activities of some sort. If you make a job of it you would find some like minded person there, over time.
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10-12-2016, 09:13 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
(10-12-2016 08:45 AM)skyking Wrote:  Both of you get some hugs from me.
Gloucester, that is quite a revealing post. How you present yourself and how you really feel (sometimes) are quite different. That forward looking optimism shines out here. It has colored your outlook in the best way possible, considering the circumstances.

Thanks, skyking.

The two masks, one crying, one laughing, that are used as a theatrical icon come from ancient Greece. The actors used them to portray the main emotion contained in the scene. They were called "personas", we still use "persona" to describe the mask that we present to the world.

I found that merely knowing that allowed me insight into how I presented myself, helped me inject a little more sincerity into things.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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10-12-2016, 09:49 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
(10-12-2016 09:03 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Yes, Dom, age and/or infirmity often bring new aspects to life. Like you, in many ways, I feel that life is better now than, say, 20 years ago. Retirement helped, as did financial indepence.

The heart attack was like a wake-up call in some ways, acted at a fairly deep level. That I have lost all my self-loathing and built onmy inherent confidence in almost all practical things and certain social things (was never afraid of public speaking or - when I was absolutely sure - of speaking my opinion.)

It certainly is that builing of close and reliable fruendships that is worst. My immediate neighbour, though 20 years younger than I, is medically badly off , mainly due to his lifestyle (smoking, a liking for lager and lots of food etc.) health issues. It is more difficult for him to get the the hospital than me, he is banned from driving for medical reasons.

In some ways, perhaps because I "own" my physical and psychological problems, because I can research them and work out compensating strategies sometimes, I am probably better of than some with a similar life experience.

Just that, at the moment, I don't have any strategies worked out to establish another close friendship nearby.

Wish I was an animal person, but having much beyond a pet rat or a budgie is not recommended when you live in a single room on the second floor!

Yep, I am good at public speaking too - many introverts are. I speak my mind also. Smile

Agreed on "owning" ones issues - I also research carefully and it does help a lot.

I also agree that retirement rocks, I love it. Gotta love the freedom to pursue one's interests.

Pets - if allowed, you could have a cat, they are much better off indoors and sleep much of the time. Or a rabbit - they are very communicative and will use a litter box - they develop real friendships with humans. Or a bird, Budgie is good, cockatiel is better yet (more intelligent). You will be surprised how much they enrich your life - especially if you are the analytic type. That trait is actually super useful when communicating with another species. It's fascinating. And it's something humanity still knows little about, I make little discoveries all the time.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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10-12-2016, 09:56 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
(10-12-2016 09:10 AM)skyking Wrote:  It might be painful, but you could try some nearby senior activities of some sort. If you make a job of it you would find some like minded person there, over time.

Senior activities - oh, the horror!

I couldn't make it through 10 minutes of it...No

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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10-12-2016, 10:14 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
(10-12-2016 05:53 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  I have always been a fan of sci-fi and have always been happy with change, even a touch of chaos, in life. That forms a bit of a pattern but not all new things are good I agree.

I often wnder why I seem to have this sense of optimism, this hope that the day will bring something new that I can get to grips with. When I look at my life story it seems a strange thing, but perhaps a psychologist would see it differently. Perhaps ''survival'' has become a way of life for me. Certainly, even as a kid, I worked out strategies and built ''survivalist'' kits, read everything I could find on protection from and survival of nuclear warfare (this was in the '50s - '60s).

From a young age, four I think, I was analytical, took my first clockwork toy to pieces then, just to see how it worked. I was always a practical person who could also meld in a bit of philosophy and psychology - ergonmics, for examples, was a great thing for me.

But some of my analytical tendencies might be due to ultra-awareness, fear, suspicion etc.

I cannot remember any of the details, only an RC priest who first let me ring the bell as a, perhaps, 7 year old, then let me light the candles - finally told me that he could give me private tuition to become a choir boy . . . The only sure memories are of a dim room, a man standing silhoutted against a window in a room full of heavy, ''Victorian'', furniture, me bleeding from a small wound at the back of my head and a very angry, 5 years older, sister.

Later the priest at that church changed and I asked my mother where Father (whatever his name was) had gone. She replied that he had been sent away because he, ''... liked little boys too much.''

Though there are no memories of any acual abuse it seems this is not unusual. What there has been is a kind of PTSD that has afflicyed the whole of my life. Any slightly embarrassing event, that I have done usually, evokes a physical and emotion reaction in me when I am alone. When in company there is not such a promblem, mostly, but I do an awaful lot of coughing to disguise verbal ejaculations.

Add to this being the last, possibly unwanted, child in the family who suffered emotional deprivation and no affection, whose every tiny wrong move was amplified into something really nasty and wwhose successes where largely ignored.

Now, add to this being bullied as the little, skinny kid who liked science and ''moving to music'' at first school who grew into the short, fat kid who liked science in secondary school being ridiculed and bullied became a daily thing. From both the boys and the girls.

The bullying continued into the RAF, into my 20's. FFor a while, on leaving the RAF, I became reclusive, this is nonthing for my, already inadequate, social skills. Exclusion was common, I was not invited to birthday or leaving luunches at the pub, nor parties at colleaugue's houses. This, of course, only made things worse.

I suffered a great deal of anxiety and depression but cigarettes were my only recourse to ''recreational substances'', I managed to keep of the booze as a crutch and had no access to other drugs.

There was no help comming froom the NHS, they are still not helpful unless you actually become a threat to yourself or others, and they often miss those problems. A fortune spent in Freudian-Kleinian therapy did fuck-all good.

It was actually the almost fatal heart attack that did some good, much of the depression and anxiety went away. The latter returned in another form after the therapeutic shocks my implanted defibrillator gave me, but that is not unusual and I developed strategies for alleviating those (though not useful strategies when one gets an anxiety attack in a public place - they involve swearing, shadow boxing and running on the spot!)

Now a friend of 20 odd years standing and I have had an irrecocileable difference of opinion, when she told me to, ''Fuck off if you don't like it!'' I still don't like it. My other close friend, also of 20 odd years standing and with whom I had lunch once a week and tea on Sundays, has moved to Devon to be close to her son, now tthat she is 73 and found her old house too much to maintain. We still email every day and speak on the phone a couple of times a week.

Her daughter-in-law has invited me to Christmas Day lunch, but I would have to stay with my friend. Family Christmasses were not always happy for me, I took every opportunity to avoid them when in the RAF, volunteering for guard duty over the holiday if necessary!

Christmasses at other family's gatherings are worse for me the jollier they are. All those family 'ín'' jokes that mean nothing to one just add to a sense of exclusion rather than iinclusion for me.

Now, at 72 with a very serious heart condition (that I seem to be surviving well above the statistical odds) and increasing joint problems (though I can still bend to pick things up and can stand from a short squat, get up off the sofa without pushing myself up on anytthing . . .) I have every right to be really pissed off. But I do not seem to be, the world owes me nothing but I still have a drive to leave it a slightly better place than I found it. Mainly I do this through my aspiring humanism - including charity giving, expressing good manners, helping others etc.

Thoe one thing I am not short of is cash, at the moment - even if my income is well below the national average.

So, despite, sometimes tens of, daily cringing, butt clenching PTSD events; despite my serious health problems I am, mostly, always looking forward to tomorrow.

Though, at the moment, with no friends nearby whom I can trust with a set of keys, no-one to bring me my mail or extra underwear should I end up in hospital and a very poor life record at making friends . . . I have to admit that this Christmas looks a little more fraught for me than usual.

Not looking for sympathy but if anyone has similar experiences I would be interested in how they coped - assuming they did!

Hug I was a skinny little guy growing up, and got picked on quite a bit. I didn't finish growing until I was 20, now just average height. I got in a ton of fights in school and beyond, mainly because I wouldn't just walk away from the abuse, be it verbal or physical. My only real social activity outside my family is with my wood carving class. All but one of those people is at least 10 years older than I; most are more than 20 years older. So, it'd kind of like hanging out with my parent's friends. I think that they don't make friends all that well, either, but they've been going to that class/club, some of them, for over 20 years. So they just know each other, with that common interest.
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10-12-2016, 11:07 AM
RE: Why am I always looking to the future?
(10-12-2016 08:14 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(10-12-2016 05:53 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  I have always been a fan of sci-fi and have always been happy with change, even a touch of chaos, in life. That forms a bit of a pattern but not all new things are good I agree.

I often wnder why I seem to have this sense of optimism, this hope that the day will bring something new that I can get to grips with. When I look at my life story it seems a strange thing, but perhaps a psychologist would see it differently. Perhaps ''survival'' has become a way of life for me. Certainly, even as a kid, I worked out strategies and built ''survivalist'' kits, read everything I could find on protection from and survival of nuclear warfare (this was in the '50s - '60s).

From a young age, four I think, I was analytical, took my first clockwork toy to pieces then, just to see how it worked. I was always a practical person who could also meld in a bit of philosophy and psychology - ergonmics, for examples, was a great thing for me.

But some of my analytical tendencies might be due to ultra-awareness, fear, suspicion etc.

I cannot remember any of the details, only an RC priest who first let me ring the bell as a, perhaps, 7 year old, then let me light the candles - finally told me that he could give me private tuition to become a choir boy . . . The only sure memories are of a dim room, a man standing silhoutted against a window in a room full of heavy, ''Victorian'', furniture, me bleeding from a small wound at the back of my head and a very angry, 5 years older, sister.

Later the priest at that church changed and I asked my mother where Father (whatever his name was) had gone. She replied that he had been sent away because he, ''... liked little boys too much.''

Though there are no memories of any acual abuse it seems this is not unusual. What there has been is a kind of PTSD that has afflicyed the whole of my life. Any slightly embarrassing event, that I have done usually, evokes a physical and emotion reaction in me when I am alone. When in company there is not such a promblem, mostly, but I do an awaful lot of coughing to disguise verbal ejaculations.

Add to this being the last, possibly unwanted, child in the family who suffered emotional deprivation and no affection, whose every tiny wrong move was amplified into something really nasty and wwhose successes where largely ignored.

Now, add to this being bullied as the little, skinny kid who liked science and ''moving to music'' at first school who grew into the short, fat kid who liked science in secondary school being ridiculed and bullied became a daily thing. From both the boys and the girls.

The bullying continued into the RAF, into my 20's. FFor a while, on leaving the RAF, I became reclusive, this is nonthing for my, already inadequate, social skills. Exclusion was common, I was not invited to birthday or leaving luunches at the pub, nor parties at colleaugue's houses. This, of course, only made things worse.

I suffered a great deal of anxiety and depression but cigarettes were my only recourse to ''recreational substances'', I managed to keep of the booze as a crutch and had no access to other drugs.

There was no help comming froom the NHS, they are still not helpful unless you actually become a threat to yourself or others, and they often miss those problems. A fortune spent in Freudian-Kleinian therapy did fuck-all good.

It was actually the almost fatal heart attack that did some good, much of the depression and anxiety went away. The latter returned in another form after the therapeutic shocks my implanted defibrillator gave me, but that is not unusual and I developed strategies for alleviating those (though not useful strategies when one gets an anxiety attack in a public place - they involve swearing, shadow boxing and running on the spot!)

Now a friend of 20 odd years standing and I have had an irrecocileable difference of opinion, when she told me to, ''Fuck off if you don't like it!'' I still don't like it. My other close friend, also of 20 odd years standing and with whom I had lunch once a week and tea on Sundays, has moved to Devon to be close to her son, now tthat she is 73 and found her old house too much to maintain. We still email every day and speak on the phone a couple of times a week.

Her daughter-in-law has invited me to Christmas Day lunch, but I would have to stay with my friend. Family Christmasses were not always happy for me, I took every opportunity to avoid them when in the RAF, volunteering for guard duty over the holiday if necessary!

Christmasses at other family's gatherings are worse for me the jollier they are. All those family 'ín'' jokes that mean nothing to one just add to a sense of exclusion rather than iinclusion for me.

Now, at 72 with a very serious heart condition (that I seem to be surviving well above the statistical odds) and increasing joint problems (though I can still bend to pick things up and can stand from a short squat, get up off the sofa without pushing myself up on anytthing . . .) I have every right to be really pissed off. But I do not seem to be, the world owes me nothing but I still have a drive to leave it a slightly better place than I found it. Mainly I do this through my aspiring humanism - including charity giving, expressing good manners, helping others etc.

Thoe one thing I am not short of is cash, at the moment - even if my income is well below the national average.

So, despite, sometimes tens of, daily cringing, butt clenching PTSD events; despite my serious health problems I am, mostly, always looking forward to tomorrow.

Though, at the moment, with no friends nearby whom I can trust with a set of keys, no-one to bring me my mail or extra underwear should I end up in hospital and a very poor life record at making friends . . . I have to admit that this Christmas looks a little more fraught for me than usual.

Not looking for sympathy but if anyone has similar experiences I would be interested in how they coped - assuming they did!

Wow, what a story. I share the abuse part, albeit I was younger and it was not a priest and it went on for years. I remember bits and pieces... I only have PTSD when the topic comes up (not right now thankfully Smile )

My current situation is very similar to yours, pretty much everyone I knew well is dead. I have the same distrust of most people I know currently, and being an introvert, I am not really inclined to go out and make new friends anymore.

I turn down holiday invitations routinely because I would hate spending them with groups of people I am not familiar with. Plus I have animals who mean the world to me, and no one to care for them during my absence. Add in that my husband died xmas morning and... just forget the holidays. I spend them spoiling myself at home. I buy my own presents and am getting better at just making myself content and happy.

But on a practical side, as you point out, the lack of people I trust completely is a big worry, ending up in a hospital I would have to have someone, and someone special, to care for my animals. It has me thinking of volunteering at a local shelter to meet some animal lovers.

What helps me cope is my dogs and my garden. Dogs return tons of love, affection and protection. The garden is very soothing and uplifting to me, even if I have to have someone come in to do the harder work there. The other thing that helps me cope is that I can spoil myself and enjoy it. That is actually a learned thing for me.

So, day to day I have a good life (the various physical pains of aging notwithstanding). But the worry about what happens should I be incapacitated remains...

Here in CA they have an organization called PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support). Basically, they help people who are ill care for their pets. They have volunteers that come out and assist people who need help so they can keep their pets. I thought about volunteering there myself which is how I know about it. I'm not sure what state you are in, but maybe you have something like that near you?

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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