Author Topic: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian  (Read 11410 times)

Mustachioed Canine

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PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« on: October 22, 2014, 11:37:26 AM »
I know, that title is just screaming "punch me in the face, hard," but please read my entire story first.

I'm in my mid-20s (female) with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education that I currently don't use and I do not currently have a job (I'm getting to that explanation soon, hang onto your panties). I'm married to a mustachian (also mid-20s) who has a Bachelor's in Chemistry and holds a secure, decent-paying job with great benefits. We do not have any children. We've been together since we were twelve (my first boyfriend), and have been married for four years.

We've always been "minimalists," but we do have an extremely hefty financial burden that we stupidly took on before we became Mustachians - 160k (after interest capitalized) combined between us in student loans to be exact. It was foolishness. Both of us were urged by our parents to get a degree from a reputable four year university, but they wanted us to pay for school independently. Please note: My husband and I know we are 100% responsible for our choices - I just wanted to share the reason, not an "excuse." We did not qualify for most financial aid due to the income of our parents. I was able to offset a paltry amount of my costs by taking part in research studies and receiving scholarships for academic achievement. We have gotten our loans down to 110k since 2011, which I am personally thrilled by, especially considering my difficulty in getting and keeping a job. This should illustrate clearly that we are dedicated to getting rid of this debt ASAP, and are quite capable of prioritizing (namely: putting out the raging fire in our hair). Much of our progress is thanks to things we've learned from this blog, and our natural inclination to be happy with the things we already have.

There has been one thing slowing us down and keeping us back, though: Me.

I recently learned that I am Autistic Level 1 (formerly known as Asperger's) and have severe ADHD (inattentive subtype). I have always had difficulty functioning in the real world even though I am very gifted and very persistent. I'm told by the diagnosing doctor that given my level of disability, I am highly adaptable. She is shocked that I went to university (which I struggled through horribly), graduated without delays and in the top 10% of my class, and further shocked that I completed a year of student teaching (again, I was so bad that the other teachers and the principal of the school were actually livid that I was still allowed to finish - I'm very fortunate that it was a Pass/No Pass grade), and I was able to work for two years as a groomer managing a salon (which I loved and was amazing at - dogs are my narrow interest, but I had significant problems with customers, coworkers, noises, smells, unpredictability, etc).

I feel most fulfilled when I am in a "nurturing" role. Thus, the desire to be a teacher, and then to be a dog groomer. Unfortunately, after talking with my doctor (and getting a second and third opinion), we've concluded that the jobs that I'm wanting and am qualified to do are not realistic for me as there are no reasonable accommodations that can be made to overcome my specific issues. I would qualify for disability, but my husband makes too much, and neither of us have worked long enough to qualify for SSDI. I'll get into things my professionals, husband, and I have considered as alternatives later in the post.
 
First, I want to talk about the recent PTSD issue. The whole point of me seeking professional help and ultimately being diagnosed was so that I could get a job and become a functional "grown up." Now I have this new barrier keeping me from doing something productive to helping us get out of debt, and even making it more difficult to keep up with our mustachian lifestyle.

My husband and I were walking hand-in-hand to get groceries (as we always do). We were on the sidewalk alongside a busy street, and crossing an entryway into the grocery store parking lot. Of course, as always, I turned to look behind me to make sure no one was turning in before we stepped out, and I saw no indication that anyone was (by the way, the speed limit is 45 on this road). My husband was teasing me for having shorter legs than him (we try and hurry through these intersections) and was pulling me along (so he was about a foot in front of me). I was nearly to the middle of the parking lot entry when an older driver in a sedan had to stop very suddenly because he hadn't seen me. He was being tailgated by a young woman in a Prius who hadn't stopped at all. Since the man in the sedan was still at an angle, he got pushed toward me even though I was technically out of his lane. I went onto the hood and then flew off into a truck that was stopped at a stop sign. I was very close to being pinned.

I overcame a phobia of cars only two years ago (both driving them and walking where they are around), and was so damn proud of myself. My husband and I had gotten to the point where we can walk everywhere. I even got to the point where I could walk to do errands by myself. I can't ride a bike because of severe gross motor and balance issues (which it turns out is part of being autistic), but my husband still uses his. When I want/need to go somewhere, I now have to have my husband drive me (and I have panic attacks as a passenger as well). I get left out of our trips to the grocery store because my husband and I feel like complete tools for driving only to travel a mile.

Yes, I am getting professional help so that hopefully I can walk for my main mode of transportation again. I've actually managed to get myself to cross small streets when there are no cars (though this is usually followed by sobbing and vomiting). Unfortunately, I'm told that it's unrealistic at this particular point in time to expect that I will achieve that goal.

The PTSD is embarrassing as hell. No amount of rationality or logic soothes me or eases the anxiety. The weirdest things trigger me - I don't even watch TV anymore because things like chase scenes through busy city streets are so commonplace. When I see other people walking down the street, especially with children or pets, I get massive panic attacks.

So I've had this part of my identity taken away from me... the part of me that relies on my own two feet to get from point A to point B. It affects my husband, too, because he also hates using his car when it's not necessary. Additionally, I am now buying "comfort" items (which are supposed to be off limits due to student loan debt) because I feel like I can't handle life without them. For example, I'm buying some nice new blankets and pillows with textures that are pleasant to me to help me feel more secure and comfortable in bed (my bed has become a bad place to be because of nightmares and hypnagogic hallucinations/sleep paralysis). I'm wanting a rocking recliner since it's the only place I'm comfortable and I can easily come down from panic attacks- I frequently stay at my parents' place just so I can use theirs. I'm also wanting to move to an area that's slightly more expensive (~$50/mo more) to get away from where the event happened, and to be in a more quiet area (though it may be cheaper per month to live there since the floor plan is smaller, it's closer to cheaper ethnic grocery stores as well as the Costco, and it's closer to my husband's work). There's more that I want too, but I'm less inclined to give into those things.

As for what I'm "doing" with my life to rake in some additional income and fill my time, I am selling a lot of my (very well maintained) grooming equipment that I won't need anymore. I'm keeping some basic pieces so I can offer to groom family friends' dogs for some extra cash. I'm helping my mother with her online real estate business in exchange for a percentage of her commissions. I'm also making a blog about pets (have the domain name, social networking pages, ideas for articles/pages, and a logo so far) - I'm trying to learn some programming so that I can make interactive tools. I'm hoping I can use what I learn to make programs for grooming business owners and so forth. I'm still involved in the dog grooming community and network at trade shows and the like. I'm also delving into writing a fantasy novel and taking part in National Novel Writing Month in November. I've also been trying my hand at free-lance writing.

Anyway, I'm not actually sure what I want from y'all. I have more than enough sympathy already, so it isn't that. I guess I just want to know if there are other resources I could be looking into, other ideas on how to keep up with our mustachian lifestyle even though I don't walk, where I should draw the line when it comes to buying things for "comfort," etc.

And because I know it's going to be asked - Yes, we have a lawyer. It's going to be quite awhile before we can make a settlement though.

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Mustache_In_Training

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2014, 12:06:44 PM »
Hi,

Thanks for sharing your story. My best advice for you would be to put yourself first. Money is not the end all/be all. Your husband seems like a very understanding and supportive person based upon your description, so I'm sure he understands completely if money is being spent on your behalf.

As a personal example, my wife suffers from depression and anxiety and pays for therapy, a psychiatrist, and medication each month. While it would be great if we didn't have those expenses, I would much much rather not have that money than not have my wife. My wife always comes before money and I would rather be completely broke with tons of debt than be without her.  I'm sure your husband feels similarly! So don't feel bad by spending money on yourself, if it helps you become a happier and healthier individual. (Just don't get stuck in the mindset that stuff = happiness)

Best of luck!


rubybeth

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 12:09:07 PM »
I'm not sure I have anything to say that will be helpful, but you have my sympathy. I would just gently remind you that you don't have to try to be a 'good mustachian' and not to beat yourself up for "failure" (in quotes because I see you trying very hard to overcome your issues) over which you have very little control. I realize you want to take responsibility, but some things truly are out of your hands. It sounds like you are doing what work you can handle, and trying to live as frugally as possible.

Perhaps a move would be worth it to avoid the area where the accident took place, and also save your husband some time in getting to work and put you closer to inexpensive food shops so that you could walk there eventually or at least reduce drive time for your husband.

It sounds like your doctor(s) have been assisting you to some extent with the job/career options available, but I would suggest seeing if your state offers vocational rehabilitation counseling. My dad was a voc rehab counselor for many years, and helped people with disabilities get re-training or job placements based on their limitations. Google something like "your state name + vocational rehab" to see what comes up. In Minnesota, it's a state-provided program at no cost to the user (taxpayer supported but it usually leads to people being able to work instead of take public assistance or go on disability).

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 12:20:45 PM »
Hi,

Thanks for sharing your story. My best advice for you would be to put yourself first. Money is not the end all/be all. Your husband seems like a very understanding and supportive person based upon your description, so I'm sure he understands completely if money is being spent on your behalf.

As a personal example, my wife suffers from depression and anxiety and pays for therapy, a psychiatrist, and medication each month. While it would be great if we didn't have those expenses, I would much much rather not have that money than not have my wife. My wife always comes before money and I would rather be completely broke with tons of debt than be without her.  I'm sure your husband feels similarly! So don't feel bad by spending money on yourself, if it helps you become a happier and healthier individual. (Just don't get stuck in the mindset that stuff = happiness)

Best of luck!



Thank you.

You're absolutely right. He'd buy anything for me to make me happy (especially since I rarely, if ever, ask for anything). He's an excellent husband.

Fortunately my psychiatrist/psychologist (with the exception of the one who made the autism/adhd diagnosis) and medications are going to be covered by the prius driver's insurance, so we're not holding back on that.

My husband and I definitely subscribe to the idea that stuff doesn't always equal happiness, but sometimes stuff can make life more bearable. I think the things that we would be buying would be addressing a genuine quality of life problem directly (as opposed to, for example, buying a new car because you have low self-esteem). Plus, these would be for long-term problems that require some level of relief.

I guess I'm just normally wary of having to validate my purchases though (because it usually means I shouldn't be buying it).

begood

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 12:24:15 PM »
It sounds like you really love animals. Is there an animal companion program where you live? I'm thinking of this story:

http://www.boredpanda.com/thula-therapy-cat-autistic-artist-iris-grace/

I wonder if a companion animal might help your PTSD symptoms while you're at home. We all need a refuge, and if you're still working back up to being able to walk places, a cat at home might help make that more of a "safe space" for you, as well as giving you an outlet for your nurturing instincts.

It sounds to me like you are a strong, smart, caring person with a really great spouse. :)

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 12:24:38 PM »
I'm not sure I have anything to say that will be helpful, but you have my sympathy. I would just gently remind you that you don't have to try to be a 'good mustachian' and not to beat yourself up for "failure" (in quotes because I see you trying very hard to overcome your issues) over which you have very little control. I realize you want to take responsibility, but some things truly are out of your hands. It sounds like you are doing what work you can handle, and trying to live as frugally as possible.

Perhaps a move would be worth it to avoid the area where the accident took place, and also save your husband some time in getting to work and put you closer to inexpensive food shops so that you could walk there eventually or at least reduce drive time for your husband.

It sounds like your doctor(s) have been assisting you to some extent with the job/career options available, but I would suggest seeing if your state offers vocational rehabilitation counseling. My dad was a voc rehab counselor for many years, and helped people with disabilities get re-training or job placements based on their limitations. Google something like "your state name + vocational rehab" to see what comes up. In Minnesota, it's a state-provided program at no cost to the user (taxpayer supported but it usually leads to people being able to work instead of take public assistance or go on disability).

Yes, I definitely have been experiencing an intense level of guilt (all self-imposed). It's one of the things being addressed in therapy. Thank you for your input, it does feel nice to be validated.

I will definitely look into the vocational rehabilitation and see what I can find. I didn't know about that, thank you.

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 12:32:50 PM »
It sounds like you really love animals. Is there an animal companion program where you live? I'm thinking of this story:

http://www.boredpanda.com/thula-therapy-cat-autistic-artist-iris-grace/

I wonder if a companion animal might help your PTSD symptoms while you're at home. We all need a refuge, and if you're still working back up to being able to walk places, a cat at home might help make that more of a "safe space" for you, as well as giving you an outlet for your nurturing instincts.

It sounds to me like you are a strong, smart, caring person with a really great spouse. :)




They're brats, but they do help! And thank you for the kind words. :)


Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 12:36:36 PM »
I was wanting to look into getting a service dog that might help me be able to go out walking again among other things. They're expensive (~20k), and if you go through a non-profit it takes a long time.

begood

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 12:40:25 PM »
They're brats, but they do help! And thank you for the kind words. :)

KITTIES! :) They're lovely!

I don't see any downside to pursuing a service animal through whatever nonprofit agency provides them in your area. Go ahead and find out what's involved - I'm sure there's a process to it - and get on the waiting list. You never know - the right animal for you might be worth waiting for. :)

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2014, 12:46:11 PM »
They're brats, but they do help! And thank you for the kind words. :)

KITTIES! :) They're lovely!

I don't see any downside to pursuing a service animal through whatever nonprofit agency provides them in your area. Go ahead and find out what's involved - I'm sure there's a process to it - and get on the waiting list. You never know - the right animal for you might be worth waiting for. :)

I'd need to ask my psychiatrist (I think they need to be prescribed since they're technically "medical equipment.") And absolutely. I would love to have a dog. I just have a pet limit since I live in an apartment, and I got the two cats because I was going to be a teacher at the time and barely home (and cats are lower maintenance).

purplepants

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2014, 12:59:32 PM »
I was wanting to look into getting a service dog that might help me be able to go out walking again among other things. They're expensive (~20k), and if you go through a non-profit it takes a long time.

I was going to suggest a service dog!  I have a dear friend who has two service dogs in her family.  Her husband is an Army veteran with PTSD from his time in the service.  His service dog was provided through a non-profit group for veterans.  My friend has PTSD and TBI from a head injury sustained on the job years ago, and her service dog is a rescue that she has trained herself (with the help of a local service dog trainer).  His total cost has been a $50 adoption fee from the shelter, plus food and vet care. 

The dogs have helped my friends a great deal in allowing them to lead relatively normal lives.  Could you do some research to see if there is a local dog trainer who could assist you in training a service dog?  Perhaps in exchange for some grooming services and other help around the kennel? 

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2014, 01:08:12 PM »
I was wanting to look into getting a service dog that might help me be able to go out walking again among other things. They're expensive (~20k), and if you go through a non-profit it takes a long time.

I was going to suggest a service dog!  I have a dear friend who has two service dogs in her family.  Her husband is an Army veteran with PTSD from his time in the service.  His service dog was provided through a non-profit group for veterans.  My friend has PTSD and TBI from a head injury sustained on the job years ago, and her service dog is a rescue that she has trained herself (with the help of a local service dog trainer).  His total cost has been a $50 adoption fee from the shelter, plus food and vet care. 

The dogs have helped my friends a great deal in allowing them to lead relatively normal lives.  Could you do some research to see if there is a local dog trainer who could assist you in training a service dog?  Perhaps in exchange for some grooming services and other help around the kennel? 

I bet I could.

I know almost every dog groomer in the area, and one of them is bound to know someone who might know. Thanks! I'll try that! :)

ScienceSexSavings

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2014, 02:04:48 PM »
Oh goodness, I love your kitties! I have a suggestion for a small, mostly passive side-hustle - how-to grooming videos. You could borrow dogs from people you know, show how to properly groom and care for a variety of coats, return the dog with a free cut or whatever, then use YouTube and your blog to make a small, passive income off of educating pet owners everywhere.

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2014, 03:35:28 PM »
Oh goodness, I love your kitties! I have a suggestion for a small, mostly passive side-hustle - how-to grooming videos. You could borrow dogs from people you know, show how to properly groom and care for a variety of coats, return the dog with a free cut or whatever, then use YouTube and your blog to make a small, passive income off of educating pet owners everywhere.

I'm very shy about recording myself because of how awkward I am, but I'd totally be willing to do that - I could put music over my voice and put in text for instructions, and just make sure I keep my face out of the recording as much as possible. That'd be a lot of fun. :)

farmstache

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2014, 04:25:21 PM »
I think you could benefit from connecting with Scrubbyfish... She has some experience with a late/borderline autistic situation and an amazing journey of self-discovery and self-care. This is the link to her journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/2014-goals-sole-provider-for-self-and-child/

The most amazing thing in your story from what I see is everything you HAVE accomplished so far. While I do agree that putting a name to your limitations will greatly increase your self-care and reduce self-doubt, everything you accomplished when you simply didn't know you weren't supposed to be able to... was amazing. I hope your journey includes taking care of yourself but also not believing your own experience has to be limited by what anybody says you're not able to do or to cope with.

My grandma founded the second school for exceptional children in my city, and she always said that we could *never* *ever* tell any of her students what they couldn't do. Only help them deal with the difficulties, but never pass on any idea of what we expected them to be able to accomplish. Scrubbyfish's journal is also amazing on this regard (but more when it comes to her son). It bothers me a little that your doctor was so vocal about this (but of course I also only heard a tiny fraction of what went on).

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2014, 04:50:13 PM »
I think you could benefit from connecting with Scrubbyfish... She has some experience with a late/borderline autistic situation and an amazing journey of self-discovery and self-care. This is the link to her journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/2014-goals-sole-provider-for-self-and-child/

The most amazing thing in your story from what I see is everything you HAVE accomplished so far. While I do agree that putting a name to your limitations will greatly increase your self-care and reduce self-doubt, everything you accomplished when you simply didn't know you weren't supposed to be able to... was amazing. I hope your journey includes taking care of yourself but also not believing your own experience has to be limited by what anybody says you're not able to do or to cope with.

My grandma founded the second school for exceptional children in my city, and she always said that we could *never* *ever* tell any of her students what they couldn't do. Only help them deal with the difficulties, but never pass on any idea of what we expected them to be able to accomplish. Scrubbyfish's journal is also amazing on this regard (but more when it comes to her son). It bothers me a little that your doctor was so vocal about this (but of course I also only heard a tiny fraction of what went on).

Thank you. That's very kind of you to say!

I believe I've come across some of her posts before when I was lurking (I just recently made a forum account to post). I'll take a look. I do want to be a parent some day in the near future and would love to have someone like that to provide inspiration and information. Information about adult women with autism who also have children is very sparse. It's awesome to know that I can connect with a real, live, human being who fits the profile.

As for what the professionals have said, it's more in the sense that they're trying to keep me from biting off more than I can chew. The gist of it was "don't worry about that now, revisit that idea later" and "your goals are too high for where you're at right now and you will be disappointed if you don't lower your expectations first." I don't think it was ever meant to imply that I'd never be able to accomplish what I want, just that I need to take a few steps back and take baby steps.

I'm an overachiever, and when I have a problem I like to tackle it head-on. I do sometimes "overdo" things, though, and get disappointed when I don't meet my own expectations. I definitely do need a readjustment in what I'd like to accomplish since I'm still stuck on "be a grooming salon owner and certified master groomer starting tomorrow."

BPA

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2014, 05:00:44 PM »
My daughter experienced trauma when she was nearly hit by a car that mounted the curb when we were waiting for the bus one day.  Her reaction to cars seems much like yours.

I knew someone, a psychotherapist, who practiced a form of therapy known as EMDR.  It is very helpful for people who have PTSD.  My daughter had one session and was completely cured.  Somehow EMDR allowed my daughter's brain to unlock her fear and deal with it.  She is now able to ride in cars and walk on the sidewalk and around cars without fear.

Perhaps this might help you?

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2014, 05:07:37 PM »
My daughter experienced trauma when she was nearly hit by a car that mounted the curb when we were waiting for the bus one day.  Her reaction to cars seems much like yours.

I knew someone, a psychotherapist, who practiced a form of therapy known as EMDR.  It is very helpful for people who have PTSD.  My daughter had one session and was completely cured.  Somehow EMDR allowed my daughter's brain to unlock her fear and deal with it.  She is now able to ride in cars and walk on the sidewalk and around cars without fear.

Perhaps this might help you?

I did EMDR for PTSD related to sexual abuse and found that it only helped moderately (of course, I figure that it's okay to still be afraid of unfamiliar men interacting with me when I'm alone, and that it's probably even for the best that I am since I tend to be naive and easily manipulated), but I did notice an improvement. I'll have to see what my psychiatrist/psychologist says. I've only seen the psychologist (the one that's for the PTSD) twice, and I'm on the hunt for a new psychiatrist (he was kind of mean), so we'll see where that goes. I will keep the EMDR in mind, though. Thanks for sharing. :)

EDIT: It may also be more effective for this particular case since the two types of trauma are very different, so it's definitely worth a shot.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 05:11:54 PM by Mustachioed Canine »

BPA

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2014, 05:17:51 PM »
My daughter experienced trauma when she was nearly hit by a car that mounted the curb when we were waiting for the bus one day.  Her reaction to cars seems much like yours.

I knew someone, a psychotherapist, who practiced a form of therapy known as EMDR.  It is very helpful for people who have PTSD.  My daughter had one session and was completely cured.  Somehow EMDR allowed my daughter's brain to unlock her fear and deal with it.  She is now able to ride in cars and walk on the sidewalk and around cars without fear.

Perhaps this might help you?

I did EMDR for PTSD related to sexual abuse and found that it only helped moderately (of course, I figure that it's okay to still be afraid of unfamiliar men interacting with me when I'm alone, and that it's probably even for the best that I am since I tend to be naive and easily manipulated), but I did notice an improvement. I'll have to see what my psychiatrist/psychologist says. I've only seen the psychologist (the one that's for the PTSD) twice, and I'm on the hunt for a new psychiatrist (he was kind of mean), so we'll see where that goes. I will keep the EMDR in mind, though. Thanks for sharing. :)

EDIT: It may also be more effective for this particular case since the two types of trauma are very different, so it's definitely worth a shot.

Interesting.  I found it moderately effective for sexual abuse too.  I am much, much better than I was, but like you said, the two types of trauma are different.  I actively don't want to remember much of the abuse.  My daughter was very forthcoming about how she felt about the accident. I wonder if that is the difference.

Good luck.  You sure have had a tough go of things.

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2014, 05:27:14 PM »
My daughter experienced trauma when she was nearly hit by a car that mounted the curb when we were waiting for the bus one day.  Her reaction to cars seems much like yours.

I knew someone, a psychotherapist, who practiced a form of therapy known as EMDR.  It is very helpful for people who have PTSD.  My daughter had one session and was completely cured.  Somehow EMDR allowed my daughter's brain to unlock her fear and deal with it.  She is now able to ride in cars and walk on the sidewalk and around cars without fear.

Perhaps this might help you?

I did EMDR for PTSD related to sexual abuse and found that it only helped moderately (of course, I figure that it's okay to still be afraid of unfamiliar men interacting with me when I'm alone, and that it's probably even for the best that I am since I tend to be naive and easily manipulated), but I did notice an improvement. I'll have to see what my psychiatrist/psychologist says. I've only seen the psychologist (the one that's for the PTSD) twice, and I'm on the hunt for a new psychiatrist (he was kind of mean), so we'll see where that goes. I will keep the EMDR in mind, though. Thanks for sharing. :)

EDIT: It may also be more effective for this particular case since the two types of trauma are very different, so it's definitely worth a shot.

Interesting.  I found it moderately effective for sexual abuse too.  I am much, much better than I was, but like you said, the two types of trauma are different.  I actively don't want to remember much of the abuse.  My daughter was very forthcoming about how she felt about the accident. I wonder if that is the difference.

Good luck.  You sure have had a tough go of things.

That could definitely have something to do with it. My fear with the sexual abuse wasn't life or death like it is with being hit by a car. I also wasn't able to readily identify and label the feelings I had. Mostly my problem was that I was afraid of being neglected if I were in danger (because what happened is that it was witnessed by adults I trusted and it was ignored because they were afraid of intervening), and that's just so much more complicated and difficult to process than "I'm afraid of myself or others being hit by a car," which by comparison is very simple. Perhaps I'll get the opportunity to see if it is or isn't more effective.

Spondulix

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2014, 08:08:44 PM »
There's no reason to be ashamed of spending money to get help. In the long run, it could actually be a financial benefit. I doubled my salary this year - which I attribute in large part to the work I've done in therapy/hypnotherapy.  I started therapy out of necessity a couple years ago, and after things settled down, I stuck with it because I was still seeing a huge benefit from it. It did wonders for my self-esteem, I learned how to better set boundaries with people, it's lowered my stress... I can assert myself, I stand up to people at work (which means less hours/craziness), and I'm much more efficient cause I don't worry about everything. When the new job offer came, I had confidence to ask for a bigger salary, which I never would have done before.

Ultimately, it's an investment in yourself, which has the potential to have great returns for LIFE.

Hypnotherapy works for trauma, so I could see it helping with PTSD (look for a certified hypnotherapist, if you're interested). Also, check out the work of David Bercelli and TRE Exercises. I read one of his books (content was blah, but the exercises were great). He's got instructional videos, too.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2014, 08:13:31 PM »
They're brats, but they do help! And thank you for the kind words. :)

KITTIES! :) They're lovely!

I don't see any downside to pursuing a service animal through whatever nonprofit agency provides them in your area. Go ahead and find out what's involved - I'm sure there's a process to it - and get on the waiting list. You never know - the right animal for you might be worth waiting for. :)

I'd need to ask my psychiatrist (I think they need to be prescribed since they're technically "medical equipment.") And absolutely. I would love to have a dog. I just have a pet limit since I live in an apartment, and I got the two cats because I was going to be a teacher at the time and barely home (and cats are lower maintenance).

About the pet limit and the dog, you may be protected under the Fair Housing laws if it is a service animal. Even places with a "no pets" policy have to accept them if they are prescribed.

mozar

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2014, 08:27:40 PM »
I recommend the book Feeling Good or cognitive behavioral therapy.

flamingo25

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2014, 11:05:04 PM »
I don't have much to add, but I'm sorry you're struggling.

I too struggle with anxiety and PTSD (completely different type of trauma, but similar outcome where I struggle to go certain places, etc.). I worked very part-time for a while as it was all I could manage to do.

As others have said, try not to beat yourself up. It sounds like your husband is loving and responsible and that you both are doing your best to be frugal. Thank you for being brave and sharing your story here.

Edited to add: Super cute kitties! Thanks for sharing pics.

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2014, 08:57:19 AM »
My partner had a near death experience at work a couple of years back, and credits EMDR with fixing the resulting PTSD. Just another data point.

Glad it worked!


KITTIES! :) They're lovely!

I don't see any downside to pursuing a service animal through whatever nonprofit agency provides them in your area. Go ahead and find out what's involved - I'm sure there's a process to it - and get on the waiting list. You never know - the right animal for you might be worth waiting for. :)

I'd need to ask my psychiatrist (I think they need to be prescribed since they're technically "medical equipment.") And absolutely. I would love to have a dog. I just have a pet limit since I live in an apartment, and I got the two cats because I was going to be a teacher at the time and barely home (and cats are lower maintenance).

About the pet limit and the dog, you may be protected under the Fair Housing laws if it is a service animal. Even places with a "no pets" policy have to accept them if they are prescribed.

Yep! That was my idea (since I'm obviously not going to get rid of the cats). Since I'm paying off student loans, I'm not going to buy a house, so the service dog would be the only way around the "pet limit." Plus, I really do think a service dog would help outside of the apartment as well. I'm well aware of public access issues and the fact that people will tend to stop you and want to pet your dog, but I think it'd be worth it. :)

I recommend the book Feeling Good or cognitive behavioral therapy.

Already doing the CBT, but I will look into that book. Maybe they'll have it as an e-book through my library.

I don't have much to add, but I'm sorry you're struggling.

I too struggle with anxiety and PTSD (completely different type of trauma, but similar outcome where I struggle to go certain places, etc.). I worked very part-time for a while as it was all I could manage to do.

As others have said, try not to beat yourself up. It sounds like your husband is loving and responsible and that you both are doing your best to be frugal. Thank you for being brave and sharing your story here.

Edited to add: Super cute kitties! Thanks for sharing pics.

Thank you for the kind words <3

And yes, they're cute. They know it. They use it to their advantage! They're very manipulative!


Frugancial Advisor

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2014, 11:33:52 AM »
Hi, Mustachioed Canine!

I know exactly how you feel when you say you don't know what you want from us in our replies; but simply venting your situation to a group of people you connect with can be quite relieving.

I wanted to offer a (somewhat amusing) piece of advice: Think of this time in your life as a recessionary period, like a downturn in the market. YOU are the market right now, and you're not performing at your potential - so NOW is the time to invest. Invest in yourself, your therapy and education, your exercise and meditation. Things that make you feel better and will lead you to an easier tomorrow.

You're clearly highly educated and motivated, and you have the ingredients to be very successful. Maybe not now, but after you invest in yourself, you will be making some solid returns in the future. So don't beat yourself up, because you need to be your number 1 fan right now. Words like 'embarrassed', 'ashamed', 'unworthy': they are all negative adjectives and should never come from yourself, only from those who are justifying their own inadequacies.

Don't worry about maximizing your saving rates and fulfilling your FI right now, those are future accomplishments that will occur when you get yourself feeling great again. And you WILL feel great again. Focus on yourself, and before you know it your share price will go up and you'll be stashing those gains!! ;)

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2014, 11:40:03 AM »
Hi, Mustachioed Canine!

I know exactly how you feel when you say you don't know what you want from us in our replies; but simply venting your situation to a group of people you connect with can be quite relieving.

I wanted to offer a (somewhat amusing) piece of advice: Think of this time in your life as a recessionary period, like a downturn in the market. YOU are the market right now, and you're not performing at your potential - so NOW is the time to invest. Invest in yourself, your therapy and education, your exercise and meditation. Things that make you feel better and will lead you to an easier tomorrow.

You're clearly highly educated and motivated, and you have the ingredients to be very successful. Maybe not now, but after you invest in yourself, you will be making some solid returns in the future. So don't beat yourself up, because you need to be your number 1 fan right now. Words like 'embarrassed', 'ashamed', 'unworthy': they are all negative adjectives and should never come from yourself, only from those who are justifying their own inadequacies.

Don't worry about maximizing your saving rates and fulfilling your FI right now, those are future accomplishments that will occur when you get yourself feeling great again. And you WILL feel great again. Focus on yourself, and before you know it your share price will go up and you'll be stashing those gains!! ;)

I never thought about it like that. That actually makes me feel a lot better about myself, thank you. :)

And I agree. I can already see the future potential with what I want to do, and I believe I'll get there in time.

Spondulix

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2014, 08:04:05 PM »
Hi, Mustachioed Canine!

I know exactly how you feel when you say you don't know what you want from us in our replies; but simply venting your situation to a group of people you connect with can be quite relieving.

I wanted to offer a (somewhat amusing) piece of advice: Think of this time in your life as a recessionary period, like a downturn in the market. YOU are the market right now, and you're not performing at your potential - so NOW is the time to invest. Invest in yourself, your therapy and education, your exercise and meditation. Things that make you feel better and will lead you to an easier tomorrow.

You're clearly highly educated and motivated, and you have the ingredients to be very successful. Maybe not now, but after you invest in yourself, you will be making some solid returns in the future. So don't beat yourself up, because you need to be your number 1 fan right now. Words like 'embarrassed', 'ashamed', 'unworthy': they are all negative adjectives and should never come from yourself, only from those who are justifying their own inadequacies.

Don't worry about maximizing your saving rates and fulfilling your FI right now, those are future accomplishments that will occur when you get yourself feeling great again. And you WILL feel great again. Focus on yourself, and before you know it your share price will go up and you'll be stashing those gains!! ;)
+1 FANTASTIC ADVICE!!


scrubbyfish

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2014, 08:17:58 PM »
(Oh! Too excited to read everything before beginning to type, I wrote this and then realized farmstache is introducing us to each other. Awesome, yes!)

Your story is so much my story.

It was strange -kind of uncanny- to read it today, because I was in with an occupational counsellor -in tears- having to reveal there some of what you revealed here. She, too, was shocked and surprised by the strange misalignment between my challenges and what I managed to pull off earlier in my life. (I am currently in an "ability recession", lol.)

In terms of MMM, my primary extra costs related to this comes from:
1. Being unable to cope with those extremely large, bright, echo-y warehouse stores. I shop at one that is smaller, much quieter, and has dim lighting...and in which everything costs more. But at least then I can keep parenting when I'm done!
2. Being unable to use transit, or be in noise for long, thus using a very quiet car with excellent insulation from the world's noise.
3. Functioning at entirely different levels depending on the amount of carbohydrates I eat (i.e., to function well, I have to spend more on food, avoiding starchy fillers in favour of animal proteins and fats).

I am going to read the rest of this delicious thread when I can settle my brain from the excitement of finding it :)    So good to meet you!!
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 08:48:33 PM by scrubbyfish »

scrubbyfish

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2014, 09:06:17 PM »
re: EMDR. I've accessed it for both my son and for myself. For him, it was a freaky miracle! For me, it had clear benefits, just not the jawdropping ones like my son had. My understanding is that the sooner after the trauma the better. EMDR that is delayed several years (or decades) after the original trauma/event will require many more sessions and perhaps still have less of a bang than EMDR implemented soon after a trauma (especially a single-instance trauma) will. But for me, it has definitely been beneficial!

I was thinking, too, what if your new occupation was to train service animals for others, too? Here that is a volunteer gig, but maybe where you are it's a paid one? Or maybe families with money, who prefer not to be on the multi-year waitlists for one, would be willing to pay you for private training? Then you get to live with an (extra) animal, and get paid, and be working, and determine your work environment, and and and.

Something that brought the tears in my appointment today was, "When I was designated disabled, I was given benefits -which I'm infinitely grateful for- but it seems I was otherwise just written off as useless, incapable, etc. When my son was designated disabled, he got assessments, reports, therapies, equipment...There was every expectation he'd succeed with just the right supports." It's a difference of a generation, I think -new awareness, understanding. No longer left to one's own devices to simply cope, develop convoluted workarounds, stay awake til 4am doing what someone else would have finished 12 hours earlier, crack and recover in an endless cycle. Those in the new generation that are being helped (which is sure not all of them) are given tools, accommodations, and strategies. This is good! And my pitch to the vocational counsellor today is that it's my turn. Not 20-50 more years of workarounds and avoidance, but rather further recovery. To that end, I'm actually paying $400 this week, out of pocket, for a private occupational assessment.

lhamo

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2014, 09:32:08 PM »
You've been given a lot of great advice already -- not much to add except that I sympathize about the PTSD.  I have been in two rollover accidents in my life that I walked away from without major physical issues but boy, the PTSD is a bitch.  If I am riding in a car driven by someone else and there is even a MINOR indication that it might be going out of control, my whole body physically reacts by having every single muscle tighten and I either gasp or, if it feels more serious, scream.  I don't let my DH drive me any more because he tends to be an inattentive driver and I have these reactions quite often and then he gets mad at me.  He can't seem to understand that my reaction is totally involuntary.

And what others have said is right - don't beat yourself up about not reaching some imaginary standard, mustachian or otherwise.  You've got some issues you need to work through.  Invest the time and energy in that and give yourself a solid foundation to build on.

And it sounds to me like you might have a potential great career ahead of you as an animal whisperer ala Temple Grandin.

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2014, 07:13:40 AM »
(Oh! Too excited to read everything before beginning to type, I wrote this and then realized farmstache is introducing us to each other. Awesome, yes!)

Your story is so much my story.

It was strange -kind of uncanny- to read it today, because I was in with an occupational counsellor -in tears- having to reveal there some of what you revealed here. She, too, was shocked and surprised by the strange misalignment between my challenges and what I managed to pull off earlier in my life. (I am currently in an "ability recession", lol.)

In terms of MMM, my primary extra costs related to this comes from:
1. Being unable to cope with those extremely large, bright, echo-y warehouse stores. I shop at one that is smaller, much quieter, and has dim lighting...and in which everything costs more. But at least then I can keep parenting when I'm done!
2. Being unable to use transit, or be in noise for long, thus using a very quiet car with excellent insulation from the world's noise.
3. Functioning at entirely different levels depending on the amount of carbohydrates I eat (i.e., to function well, I have to spend more on food, avoiding starchy fillers in favour of animal proteins and fats).

I am going to read the rest of this delicious thread when I can settle my brain from the excitement of finding it :)    So good to meet you!!

I'm very fortunate that my husband can go to those places for me!!! And I know what you mean about the transit - I used a bus once, and felt so disconnected from myself afterwards. That was for jury duty. I got picked to be in the jury pool for a case about child rape. Had the biggest meltdown of my entire adult life when they pointed me out specifically during voir dire and asked if I had experience with or knew someone who had been through sexual abuse/child abuse, and I couldn't come down from it enough to use the bus to get back home - my mother had to drive an hour and a half to come pick me up, and I didn't eat all day because I couldn't stay inside the building long enough to find a vending machine, and god forbid I go to a cafe where I have to tell soemone what I want to eat. I think in the future I'm going to have my psychiatrist write me a note saying I can't function well enough for jury duty.

So glad you found my post! :)

re: EMDR. I've accessed it for both my son and for myself. For him, it was a freaky miracle! For me, it had clear benefits, just not the jawdropping ones like my son had. My understanding is that the sooner after the trauma the better. EMDR that is delayed several years (or decades) after the original trauma/event will require many more sessions and perhaps still have less of a bang than EMDR implemented soon after a trauma (especially a single-instance trauma) will. But for me, it has definitely been beneficial!

I was thinking, too, what if your new occupation was to train service animals for others, too? Here that is a volunteer gig, but maybe where you are it's a paid one? Or maybe families with money, who prefer not to be on the multi-year waitlists for one, would be willing to pay you for private training? Then you get to live with an (extra) animal, and get paid, and be working, and determine your work environment, and and and.

Something that brought the tears in my appointment today was, "When I was designated disabled, I was given benefits -which I'm infinitely grateful for- but it seems I was otherwise just written off as useless, incapable, etc. When my son was designated disabled, he got assessments, reports, therapies, equipment...There was every expectation he'd succeed with just the right supports." It's a difference of a generation, I think -new awareness, understanding. No longer left to one's own devices to simply cope, develop convoluted workarounds, stay awake til 4am doing what someone else would have finished 12 hours earlier, crack and recover in an endless cycle. Those in the new generation that are being helped (which is sure not all of them) are given tools, accommodations, and strategies. This is good! And my pitch to the vocational counsellor today is that it's my turn. Not 20-50 more years of workarounds and avoidance, but rather further recovery. To that end, I'm actually paying $400 this week, out of pocket, for a private occupational assessment.

The part I bolded made me tear up as I relate to this so, so well. I did this yesterday. I spent 8 hours doing something my husband could have had finished in about an hour. It's not that he knew how to do it better than I did, but that he could actually focus on each individual step and transition between those steps efficiently. I, in between steps, would fiddle around and go through all open programs/tabs until I remembered what I needed to do next. Each step was supposed to take seconds. Even when I wrote down the steps, I'd still get lost. My poor husband was trying to tell me about his day, and about the cool articles he was finding online, and I had to keep yelling at him to wait until I got to a stopping point in the process lest I completely lose what I was doing. At one point it was time for dinner - I let it get cold (which hurts my husband's feelings when I do this) because I just couldn't put it down until I was finished.

On the plus side, this was a list of my used grooming equipment with pictures/prices/specs/condition, etc. It's all worth about $1500 altogether. I've already got local people offering to buy stuff. So at least I'm benefiting from it.

And oh my God, the workarounds I've made... I could write an entire novel (in fact, I think I will after I get this fantasy one finished). If I were to write my story about how I made it through college, especially the student teaching part, I'd sound like freaking MacGyver.

Can you keep service dogs in training in an apartment like you could a fully fledged service dog? If so, that'd be awesome! I'd make a great dog trainer (in fact, most of my regular clients were dogs that were kicked out of other grooming salons - I rarely had any issues with them). Dog behavior is another major interest of mine.

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2014, 07:22:08 AM »
You've been given a lot of great advice already -- not much to add except that I sympathize about the PTSD.  I have been in two rollover accidents in my life that I walked away from without major physical issues but boy, the PTSD is a bitch.  If I am riding in a car driven by someone else and there is even a MINOR indication that it might be going out of control, my whole body physically reacts by having every single muscle tighten and I either gasp or, if it feels more serious, scream.  I don't let my DH drive me any more because he tends to be an inattentive driver and I have these reactions quite often and then he gets mad at me.  He can't seem to understand that my reaction is totally involuntary.

And what others have said is right - don't beat yourself up about not reaching some imaginary standard, mustachian or otherwise.  You've got some issues you need to work through.  Invest the time and energy in that and give yourself a solid foundation to build on.

And it sounds to me like you might have a potential great career ahead of you as an animal whisperer ala Temple Grandin.

That sounds terrifying! I've never been in an auto accident where the car rolled, thankfully. I can only imagine how scary that must be.

I can relate so well to the reactions of the drivers! My father gets a little miffed because he takes it personally, but he kind of understands and feels bad for me, so he covers his annoyance up with a grumbly, "it's going to be fine." My mother is a very, very reactive and defensive person, and she drives very "violently" (quick starts and stops, making fast turns, doing other stuff instead of driving resulting in "jerking" of the wheel. When I gasp, scream, cry, etc. It's always "Oh, Stop it!" Surprisingly, she's never been in an accident save being rear ended a few times (and those were very minor). My husband has gotten to the point that he just treats it like another endearing personality trait, and he lets me know everything's okay without being a jerk about - he just lets me have my panic attack without giving me grief.

And thank you so much. :)

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2014, 08:17:57 AM »


By the way, we got the recliner! $300 at Big Lots. Also got a giant stuffed pink unicorn at Costco for $17! lmao! His name is David (as in Mr. Bowie)!

My husband and I joke that money may not be able to buy happiness, but at least it can provide a comfortable place to be depressed, lol.

We normally don't buy stuff like this since our "hair is on fire," but I don't regret this purchase one bit.

The recliner has become my "safe place." I find it almost impossible to feel anxious or depressed when I'm sitting in that chair. I can't wait for the cold weather to hit so I can pull out my electric blanket!

Now I just need to get my PTSD under control enough to watch the TV shows I like on Netflix (it's stupid how often they use the "running through traffic" or "high speed car chase" tropes). I can only stand to watch so many documentaries.


In other news, I'm finally getting all my grooming stuff sold! (1500 dollars worth of stuff). I also put up my bike for sale for $375 (it's a very, very nice bike and I barely ever used it before because I have horrible balance, which turns out to be from the autism and not something I was ever able to improve). And then I'm also going to sell some other grooming equipment to a particular group (also kind of a "cult" group like MMM but for dog grooming) who uses the weird method that I do for grooming quicker (most other groomers would never buy the equipment with the modifications I made). Going to try for $650 since the hair vacuum was $700 and I only used it a dozen times, and my clippers that I modified to go with it are practically brand new and worth around $150, plus the cost of all the little extra parts I had to buy to make them work together.

That'll be a nice chunk of money for while I get my book written and my blog up and going! Plus I have settlement money coming soon from the rear end accident that my husband and I had in May (anticipating around $9,000 total between the two of us in repaid medical bills, lost wages, and pain & suffering). :)

Hoping to use most of that money to pay off student loans! Yay!



What I'm less happy about is that we've spent a crap ton of money ($400+ between both my husband and I - bought from Costco and Target, Target because they tend to make clothes that are "sensory friendly" for me) on winter clothes, shoes, and accessories because we've never been anywhere cold before, and we're going to go to Colorado for Christmas. Plus all of my winter clothes are from when I was in Jr High - High school. I'm also making an effort to buy clothes that won't trigger sensory overload if I have to wear them all day (very difficult!)

We also had the rare opportunity come up to get the game system (a 3ds XL) I've wanted for very cheap ($200) in the color I wanted coupled with the one game I really wanted (Ocarina of Time). Been waiting for YEARS for a deal like that.

Then we also had to buy my husband new glasses and sunglasses (~$350 total with the exam). We got frames and lenses at Costco, and his insurance will reimburse most of it once we make a claim.

I'm also going to be buying a crap ton of stuff for my cats (~$100 worth) because their scratching stuff is pretty much unusable, and their toys are disgusting and torn up. Plus I learned that they make much, much better cat care stuff now - nothing "fancy" that wouldn't be extremely useful, but things that will significantly improve their well-being (and mine). Hoping it keeps them from chewing things they're not supposed to, that they'll let me sleep at night, and that it'll keep them more active (Not that they aren't active now, and they are in good physical shape - not overweight. I play with them during the day, but that only goes so far, and they're indoor only, so they could always use more activity).

Then I also need a crap ton of stuff from Amazon ($250+) such as a thermometer and blood pressure monitor (I need to keep an eye on my BP and pulse with the meds I'm taking, and I don't have a working thermometer), a bunch of medicated shampoo that I'm running out of (I have sever sebborrheic dermatitis, I use literally 6 different shampoos - one cheap one that I buy in bulk to get my hair initially clean, 3 different types of medicated ones that I switch between each day, an antifungal I use once a week, and a clarifying shampoo every couple of weeks to get all the build-up out. Then of course I have a conditioner), filters for our air purifier (since I have allergies), and a bunch of tools and parts for my husband's car (he's learning how to do all maintenance himself - it'll save us money in the long run at least), and my husband needs some high capacity SD cards for his project (hobby). Fortunately I use a credit card with amazon rewards, and we use coin star to get amazon gift cards (since there's no fees that way), so I should be able to save around $30 bucks.

Let's not even get into what I'm spending on Doctor's visits.

We can afford all of it easily, but I have never, ever spent this much money on miscellaneous crap in a one month period. I feel horrible and guilty about buying so much, but at the same time less stressed out since I really, really need most of this stuff (minus the 3ds of course) and have been neglecting to get it for so long. Plus, now that I know why I wanted some of those things, I realize that a lot of it will be helpful for my disability (such as the new clothes and the recliner to ease sensory problems)

EDIT: Oh yes! And we also had to buy a mop, so we invested in one that can "spray" and steam the floors (again, allergies. I also like that I wouldn't have to use a chemical cleaner since the smells tend to set me off) - only $80 at Costco. In a few months, we'll be buying a carpet shampooer that specializes in removing pet hair. Even after I vacuum, the floors and furniture are still filled with it.

I'm really trying to change my perception to "I'm just taking care of business and the stuff I've been neglecting," but it still makes me feel awful.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 08:27:09 AM by Mustachioed Canine »

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2014, 08:45:49 AM »
I also just want to say thank y'all for being so understanding and helpful. What surprises me is that the only people who have said hurtful and ignorant things to me are my family members.

My father said "well, you could just get over it, that sounds like the easiest thing to do..." in response to me discussing how frustrated I was about not being able to go on my daily walks anymore.

My mother told me "when you tell your story to people, you don't talk about how your mom and dad abused you, right? Because our names are our livelihood, and we won't be able to make money if people think we abused you." I was so incredibly hurt that she would ask that. She asked because in high school, CPS was called because I didn't eat (due to an increase in issues with food texture and also a hiatal hernia causing GERD, plus I was just really stressed out) and lost 10 lbs. I naively told the school counselor about how my mom yells all the time (she has her own psychiatric issues) and that my dad was on pain killers (for a legitimate reason, but I neglected to mention that because I thought it was implied). They were accused of child abuse, and were under court order to take me to a dr. regularly as well as a psychiatrist and psychologist even though they had no money (they made a lot of money, but they are very, very anti-mustachian!!!) They thought I accused them of child abuse. It took me two years to explain why all of that happened to where they would believe me. Anyway, basically, my mother still has some hurt feelings about that, and believes that I tell everyone I meet that she's a horrible mom, that she's abusive, etc. That really hurts me because I am a very candid, sincere, and compassionate person, and I can't believe that she doesn't see me that way - she sees me as spiteful and attention-seeking.

My husband's step-father (who has been very, very supportive of us - especially financially while we were getting started out) denied that I had any disabilities (that the psychologist and psychiatrist were scamming me, basically). He said that I just needed to grow up.

My mother-in-law added in that "there are people who have it worse than you."



Everyone else, even people who are barely even able to be considered acquaintances have been so sympathetic and even offered assistance. Heck, even the guy who makes it a point to complain about "victim mentality" and how most psychiatric disorders are fake was sympathetic.  I just don't understand that... at all...

So again, thank you all so much.

scrubbyfish

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2014, 10:49:47 AM »
Are you me?
My brain is doing that funny "firing" thing -where I can feel the little firings going off. This happens only in very specific circumstances, like when an EMDR session has been especially successful (and then I can't even drive for a couple of hours because the firings are too intense!).

Anyhoo...  It's hard to begin talking (typing) because of all the things in common! Some items I felt are worth focusing on, though:

For me, too, most criticism comes from a family member...interestingly, not any of those without ASD traits, but rather one with ASD traits who is the only one in total denial about it. Sadly, the other place it has come from is boyfriends I've chosen, ouch! I'm really excited and glad that you chose a partner who loves, understands, and supports you!!! This may be half the battle in ASD (as well as in PTSD)! You have intuitively been very wise.

We never had CP involvement, etc, but my mum was quite ashamed of my disability journey and wanted me to keep it a secret because of how it might reflect on the family. Again, ouch. (But she and I are very good together now!)

I spent 8 hours doing something my husband could have had finished in about an hour. It's not that he knew how to do it better than I did, but that he could actually focus on each individual step and transition between those steps efficiently. I, in between steps, would fiddle around and go through all open programs/tabs until I remembered what I needed to do next. Each step was supposed to take seconds. Even when I wrote down the steps, I'd still get lost. My poor husband was trying to tell me about his day, and about the cool articles he was finding online, and I had to keep yelling at him to wait until I got to a stopping point in the process lest I completely lose what I was doing. At one point it was time for dinner - I let it get cold (which hurts my husband's feelings when I do this) because I just couldn't put it down until I was finished.

This made me laugh with sheer joy! Not that this is what you go through, but that you put exactly perfectly my life, lol! It's almost exactly what I was describing to the vocational counsellor yesterday. "Can I [make a phone call, fill out a form, do this math]? Sure! I just need to schedule that for next Thursday, and make sure I see no friends, have no other phone calls, and rest a lot for the three days leading up, clear my home of all visual stimulation first, and make sure I schedule the rest of the day off after, to recover. But then? No problem!" i.e., Yes, I'm intellectually capable of all sorts of wonderful things! Doing them is a whole other song and dance, lol.

And oh my God, the workarounds I've made... I could write an entire novel (in fact, I think I will after I get this fantasy one finished). If I were to write my story about how I made it through college, especially the student teaching part, I'd sound like freaking MacGyver.

I really hope you do!!!!

Can you keep service dogs in training in an apartment like you could a fully fledged service dog?

I have no idea, but I think it might be worth: asking the landlord if they would make an exception for a service-dog-in-training (lots of people nowadays recognize the difference between this and a "pet", and many are extremely supportive of more being trained to support people with disabilities), or moving to a place that accepts dogs (if it doesn't cost more). Service dogs certainly need the opportunity to train for apartment living. I have friends that train service dogs -it's a big commitment, but gosh do they ever love doing it. They love the dogs, they love training them, they love participating in the group training sessions, they love supporting people with disabilities this way/making this contribution. Here the waitlist is up to 10 years for some disabilities so, again, I think there could be potential for private arrangements. My son has a Registered Disability Savings Plan for his use in adulthood, for example, and I would be thrilled if he chose to use some of it for privately-funded training of the dog he can't get in the meantime because of the waitlist.

Finally, about the Target sensory-friendly clothes, chair, etc. I use YNAB to track my income and spending -this has absolutely turned around my finances, highly recommend. In using this, something that has helped me very much is to put this type of cost not under "clothing" but under a category called "healing" (or "therapy" or "community-building" or "joy" or whatever reminds me of *why* I'm spending there). Alternatively, I might split the category, putting under "clothing" the amount I would have spent on pants had I no sensory issues, and the difference under "healing". Likewise, the difference in food costs, etc. This approach helps me to not go overly frugal on clothes, food, etc, to the point that I would be hurting myself with sensory overload, high carbohydrate levels, scratchy clothes, etc. It helps me recognize/remember/accept that the additional costs are for healing/health, which is something worth investing in. So, for me, the recliner and unicorn would go not under "furniture" or "toys" or "recreation", but under "healing" or something along those lines.

Twenty years ago, my life sucked so much (sleeping on sidewalks, etc), and now it's pretty awesome (except when I have to fill in a form quickly), so I really believe that investing in well-being is worth it. And investing in well-being is not unMustachian. It is the epitome of Mustachianism.

Mustachioed Canine

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2014, 11:58:43 AM »
We must be, like, long-lost identical twins or something.

Quote
For me, too, most criticism comes from a family member...interestingly, not any of those without ASD traits, but rather one with ASD traits who is the only one in total denial about it. Sadly, the other place it has come from is boyfriends I've chosen, ouch! I'm really excited and glad that you chose a partner who loves, understands, and supports you!!! This may be half the battle in ASD (as well as in PTSD)! You have intuitively been very wise.
Haha, I'm fairly certain my parents are autistic, too, and they are so in denial. My husband's parents, though, just don't believe in "mental health" problems.

And yes, my husband is awesome. We met when we were twelve. He was my first and only boyfriend, and we've been married for four years now! If it weren't for him, I'd probably be single, because I've never met anyone else that I work with nearly as well as I do with him. And it is a two-way relationship. He has trouble taking the initiation to do super important things like make sure the electricity and rent are paid, that he's filled out any applications he needs for work, student loans, etc., that he goes to the dentist/eye doctor regularly for check-ups, that he keeps a budget (even though he naturally doesn't spend a whole lot). We think he may be slightly autistic as well. My anxiety about people being mad at me for not getting things done inspires me to make sure all our t's are crossed and our i's dotted, so I kind of fill that particular need for him. Also, he says I provide him with "entertainment," lol...


Quote
This made me laugh with sheer joy! Not that this is what you go through, but that you put exactly perfectly my life, lol! It's almost exactly what I was describing to the vocational counsellor yesterday. "Can I [make a phone call, fill out a form, do this math]? Sure! I just need to schedule that for next Thursday, and make sure I see no friends, have no other phone calls, and rest a lot for the three days leading up, clear my home of all visual stimulation first, and make sure I schedule the rest of the day off after, to recover. But then? No problem!" i.e., Yes, I'm intellectually capable of all sorts of wonderful things! Doing them is a whole other song and dance, lol.

This. Exactly this. This is why me making that blog is so freaking hard. My dad is going to help me, fortunately, but still. Whenever I do a "big project" (AKA small task) like that, I usually need to take a 3 hour nap afterwards or go to bed early, lol.

Quote
Finally, about the Target sensory-friendly clothes, chair, etc. I use YNAB to track my income and spending -this has absolutely turned around my finances, highly recommend. In using this, something that has helped me very much is to put this type of cost not under "clothing" but under a category called "healing" (or "therapy" or "community-building" or "joy" or whatever reminds me of *why* I'm spending there). Alternatively, I might split the category, putting under "clothing" the amount I would have spent on pants had I no sensory issues, and the difference under "healing". Likewise, the difference in food costs, etc. This approach helps me to not go overly frugal on clothes, food, etc, to the point that I would be hurting myself with sensory overload, high carbohydrate levels, scratchy clothes, etc. It helps me recognize/remember/accept that the additional costs are for healing/health, which is something worth investing in. So, for me, the recliner and unicorn would go not under "furniture" or "toys" or "recreation", but under "healing" or something along those lines.

Twenty years ago, my life sucked so much (sleeping on sidewalks, etc), and now it's pretty awesome (except when I have to fill in a form quickly), so I really believe that investing in well-being is worth it. And investing in well-being is not unMustachian. It is the epitome of Mustachianism.

That's an awesome idea. I think my husband would agree with it, too. I'm the only reason we waited so long to get the damn recliner ("I don't need it, I want it"). My husband's been suggesting it since we moved in together five years ago (and he doesn't actually even seem to like sitting in recliners). And my husband hates spending money.

farmstache

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2014, 08:51:07 AM »
Guys, I'm here reading and crying that you two found each other and can talk about all these things that we "normal" boring people don't fully understand.

Wishing you the best.

About blogging, I've followed a few blogs written by autistic people, but they were usually about autism and coping, not something else. It was hard for me because I'd cry at every single post (either with joy from their conquests or sadness for the hardships), but made me understand people with ASD so much more, and the comment sections were usually filled with people connecting over the internet and sharing, sharing, and thankful that the internet provided a safe place for them to find each other and share. Some had children, some had husbands, some were asexual, some had jobs, some were on disability, some lived with their parents or siblings. As a non-ASD who has lived in my childhood with a severe DS-ASD aunt, and spent several afternoons at my grandma's school for exceptional children, I feel like I still had/have? a hard time understanding the lives and processes. I was always a bit afraid of doing something wrong, and I felt ashamed of my own brain and body. I could never be as open, as caring, as engaged or as focused as all those other kids were when I was there with them, like my body and mind being "normal", made me broken compared to them. It was very hard for me to connect and react, and they all "got" each other so beautifully, so instantly. It's been a journey to me, after grown up and long after my grandma passed away, to search and learn and seek understanding. So thank you for that too. I love the glimpses I get here.

scrubbyfish

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Re: PTSD affecting my ability to be a good mustachian
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2014, 09:48:50 AM »
Wow, farmstache! Neat stuff.

I guess ultimately it's about where we're a majority and where we're a minority, hey? I talk about it with my son that way. When he asked what a disability is, I explained it just means you're the minority in a given trait, such that there will be barriers or challenges in navigating that particular aspect of the world, because most aspects are, reasonably, built with the majority in mind. (Heck, I knew a guy who was able to get a $30,000 disability payout for being tall where the average height of librarians was shorter! The counter height left his back hurting.)

I can see how that would also be so if you're the only "neurotypical" person in a room full of folks with ASD! It makes sense that you would feel the same sense of broken, ill-fitting, confused that we do in most places. Great thought.

The internet changed my life in the ways you describe and in additional ways related to ASD, too. I was 26 years old when I was introduced to it. My whole world open up. Suddenly I was able to connect, be employed, etc. It was absolutely incredible.