I've been a ghost in my own life. (a vent on my way to an awakening)

I understand the concept of “The Future.”

(Excuse me while I go through a bit of verbal agony getting this out.)

What I mean to say is: I know, for instance, that the word “tomorrow” represents the future.
I can visualize the future; it is any period of time beyond today.

Now, I’m going to give you a thought that is in the present tense, but this thought now represents a past tense to me:

When I visualize the future, I see my daughters as adults. I see them happy and smiling, living their lives, having children of their own.
I am not in this picture.
I’m present, because I see it, but in my mind I’m never in the picture.

Until recently I have had no concept of my own, personal future.

I never thought I would be alive this long.

I would never have come to this realization if I had not started attending counseling sessions at a local Veterans’ center.

It seems that one of the manifestations of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is lack of a vision of the future. You don’t plan for the future if you don’t think you’re going to be in it.

I’ve been a ghost in my own life.

I hear you.

I’ve been going through some hard times. People keep telling me to look at the long term. But I just can’t see a long term. I can’t see a week ahead. Tommorow even looks I bit hazy. They tell me that things will get better soon. And it’s not that I don’t believe them. It’s just that I’m not all that convinced that theres a “soon” ahead for things to get better in. I can’t see anything changeing because I can’t really see time going on.

It’s maddening because I have nothing to look forward to. I can’t make plans.

I havn’t been able to see any sort of future for about six months now. I guess some bad stuff has happened, but no wars or anything like that. But maybe it helps knowing your not alone.

And you have a beautiful way of putting such a heart breaking subject.

First time I had a major period of emotional breakdown in 1992, over job restructuring, then losing my job – all I could see beyond “the present” of then was black. Just black. An empty void, into which I was about to step, because I was sick and tired of being where I was, treated as a freak, treated (quite literally) as a ghost that folk just looked through.

I’ve had that sensation quite a few times since.

All the best to you both, The_Stranger and even sven.

Stranger, this is so weird. I was thinking about you just last night and wondering how you were doing and was going to try to see if you’d posted recently. Big hugs to you. It sounds like counseling, although probably a painful journey, is giving you back your life. It hurts to wake up sometimes, but along with feeling the pain it means you can feel good things again too. I’m on the other side of numb now. I"m not going back. I hope and pray and send you a billion positive thoughts that you see yourself to the other side too.
You have no idea how much all of you who were willing to share your stories to help me, mean to me. I really hope for your happiness.
Please feel free to email if there’s anything I can do or you just need to vent.

And hugs and positive thoughts to all of you in a similar place.

Hi Salem.
I sure am glad to hear that you’re moving forward.
I’ve been wondering how you’re doing.
It’s funny how certain ppl on a board with forty thousand plus members can become part of your life.

I vented this here because of the unique mix of friends and strangers…(no pun on my name intended)…

some will read, and click out, with no second thought.
some will read, and see similarities to their own life.

but just posting made me feel better.
It’s me shouting: “Hey, dammit!, I’m awake now!”

even sven and Ice Wolf,

thanks for the input.

Stress related disorders don’t necessarily have to come from war-time situations.

significant trauma of any sort can cause symptoms of PTSD.

I feel bad for the folks in Iraq right now.
They will come back with major stress related trauma.
May they seek help, FAST.

Yes. Yes, indeed. There are members of this board that I think will be a part of my life for a long time to come, and they’ve helped light the candles that pushed back the dark.

My thoughts are with those serving in Iraq too. May they get back home to peace soon.

Welcome back from the other side, Stranger. I was a ghost for quite a while too, but I think I’m mostly solid these days. I just need to do a little work just to be sure I’m “grounded” again.

Thanks Ferret Herder.
It’s interesting, and scary thinking about the future.

The only sad thing is… I woke up too late to save my marriage, BUT I’m not too late to have a meaningful relationship with my two daughters.