HELP!! part 2

AgentIce

Patron
Hello all, it's been a long time. The last time I posted here my life was falling a part. I was in a bad relationship, poker was getting shut down and I lost most of my friends from my inability to pay my rent. When I started taking Zoloft I went through so many changes that it was much to process and I didn't write, although I believe it would have helped me to do so. A big part of me stopping writing here is I found my mom had seen my posts. She said I was a liar, only highlighting the bad, etc. I saw the truth in that, and it made me doubt myself. I wanted to write when I could be sure of myself. I didn't want to write to get pity or to only say one side of the story. I want to write to make a difference. To transmute the pain into something better.

I have a lot to stay and it's a bit overwhelming. I started to and I feel like I have to write a whole book in this short time period and I just end up stopping. So what I will do now is just say where I'm at.

I've learned that I'm a narcissist and I have borderline personality disorder. I hate labels like this and each person is infinite shades of gray, but I feel these best describe me. I never properly bonded with my mom, or with anyone. In fact the wall I had built was so large it took my life falling apart for me to realize I needed help. I was lucky to have friends who supported me and chipped away at my wall. Eventually I did open up and feel love, although briefly. Having an actual connection with someone was very scary for me. I am a liar, but only when I feel that fear of abandonment. That fear that if I let someone know what I'm really like they would hate me and leave me forever. The worst things were the ones even I couldn't accept. That I was manipulative, selfish, etc. In spite of those qualities, I didn't go around intentionally trying to hurt people, I only lied to protect myself. Unfortunately eventually I'd always end up hurting people when I showed them some of the real me and shared my pain. I really can't put to words how painful and hard it was for me to accept myself, and to share that with other people. It was like a brick wall, and I have to admit external influences helped me smash it. I don't think anyone can do it alone, because the very cure has to do with having a good connection with another person. This is part of why I forgive my mom.

There was a point where I was about to be homeless. My friends had set me up with a girl and I couldn't relax and enjoy myself. More of the same that I experienced with my ex. So much pain with no pleasure in sight and I was ready to kill myself. What was the point of life if I was never going to enjoy it? I'm incredibly reserved about acting out on my emotions but I can't express the innate urge to cause harm to myself that I felt at that point, and if something further happened I'm positive I would have taken my life. By some miracle a man came into my work shortly after the experience with that girl talking on the phone about a child who had been abused. At that point I had decided that I was done hiding myself, that I was going to be open and say anything, but I needed help. I told him I'd been abused and we talked a bit and I explained my situation. He said the words I'll never forget "Well, abuse comes in many different forms, but from the sounds of it you have been abused and you're a survivor. I'd like to be a part of your support group if that's ok.". At the time I had no support. He helped me get a place and not be homeless and gave me work. He was the head lawyer for the state for 25 years and had helped many children and was well connected. I did odd jobs for him for 3 years making minimum wage until I was finally able to get a bottom level job working as a student assistant. Not a state employee technically yet but I had my foot in the door. I was riding my bike 8+ miles a day working the job and then taking classes hoping they would see my knowledge (I'm very good with computers) and I could get actual full time employment. When I wasn't working I was drowning my pain with pot and alcohol and even cigarettes (something I never thought I'd do as my parents smoked and I found it disgusting) Within 2 months they promoted me to one of the best positions in the state, System Software Specialist with full benefits and 70k a year which was a record. I just recently passed probation so I'm set for life as far as that goes.

I'm set to see a therapist on Monday. I'll admit I am stubborn and I have been trying to fix myself alone, I don't have a lot of faith in therapy. I have experimented with drugs too. Anyone who knows the desperation of being stuck with pain will understand my willingness to try it, and I was against psychiatric medicines (I talked with a psychiatrist and after 30 minutes they prescribed me lithium). I read about studies using mushrooms to treat ptsd anxiety and depression but I was scared of trying them. I was scared some of the old emotions would come back. Even with all the work I had done with cognitive behavior therapy, meditation, exercise, etc, some deep fears just would not leave me. When I finally tried mushrooms it was a revelation. I reached a state of relaxation and peace I didn't know was possible and after that my personality had changed. I was permanently more relaxed. A much better alternative to the Welbutrin I was on at the time (which was mild compared to Zoloft). It's only part of the puzzle though, the trick is to learn what is stopping you from reaching that state while sober. Funny enough my tolerance to drugs is incredibly high, probably because Scientology is like a drug in itself and my brain was already used to the highs and lows. I still haven't been with a girl since my ex although I've had a couple brief experiences. I decided I was not ready for a relationship until I fixed myself and I made that clear to the girls I was with. It's been hard to go out and socialize and put myself in situations where I can meet people but I have slowly improved in all areas.

My goals now are to get clean from drugs. At least to the point where I'm somewhat balanced, I'm not aiming for perfection. Mostly that is cutting out pot, I'm not too crazy with alcohol and I don't find it too hard to quit smoking cigarettes. My life is much more balanced now compared to where I used to be, but I still have a lot of work to do. I do yoga, I lift weights, but I still struggle with painful emotions that cause me to act out. They just aren't as extreme as before.

Well I have much more I could say but this is a start at least.

Here's a pic of me at my first rave, a way I found I could socialize with mostly loving and non-judgemental people. I've yet to find a social group that I feel I truly belong too, but even though a lot of these guys are misfits they at least accept me.

Edit: Oh, I'm the guy on the right.
 

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AnonyMary

Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
Thank you for writing and sharing all this with us. That was very brave. Despite having gone through so much, you have not given up and you are making a better life for yourself. :thumbsup:

I'm glad you found some support and encouragement along the way and worked hard to learn the skills that have resulted in your new job. Making friends that you really like and can relate to really makes a difference. I know a few young adults who have had similar situations, where they went from having false or superficial friendships and often felt lost in the social world to where they found good people and a place where they felt they belonged. Good for you on all your progress.

With things are getting better every day for you, never give up hope. Best wishes on the therapy, the job and the social situation and with your family situation.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

PS: I sent you a PM
 

AgentIce

Patron
So I wanted to talk about my experiences on Zoloft. The Zoloft muted all the negative emotions I was feeling. Since I wasn't being totally shut down I could actually see the thoughts behind the negative emotions and work to change them. I had already studied cognitive behavioral therapy among other things and found help with it but for some of the emotions there was just no way of thinking your way out of them. On Zoloft I was able to. Since my body wasn't constantly being bombarded I started to feel good, which was odd, as I was so used to migraines and constant physical pain. Once I had the comparison to what actually feeling good was like, I started to respect myself. I kept crying tears of joy. Where once I thought I was weak and damaged, I realized I was just a normal person in extraordinary circumstances. I was amazed at how well I handled it. I couldn't believe my strength. I started to stand taller, to love myself. My body wasn't used to it from the decades of low self esteem and slumped shoulders and my back went out one night. I was stuck on the bed for two hours in agony, unable to move. Shaking and beat red and sweating. Eventually I realized the only way to get up was to stop fighting the pain and accept it. My own resistance was just making it worse. I finally got up, and for the rest of the night I was walking around because sitting down was too difficult. Even with all that pain, my attitude was still positive. I validated myself for how awesome of an attitude I had about pain. I was loving and accepting myself.

I thought of applying that to my girlfriend at the time, and my mom. I thought what if I loved my mom, what would that feel like? At first that thought was met with disgust, an impossible idea. Did I ever love her? I thought well what if you just pretend, what would that feel like? I thought of how that would mean she was special, precious, something to be cherished. I remembered being a kid and all the nice things I did for her and how I cared for her. I remembered tender moments between us. I was hit by this incredible fear when I thought of allowing myself to feel that way, even with the zoloft muting me. I kept pursuing those thoughts though. Then I realized I truly did love her, and she was special to me, but it opened me up to being hurt by her. To love someone who hurts you so often is painful, and I learned to block it out and tell myself I didn't care and didn't need love. To love was weak. Once I realized that I was blocking out love by constantly having this wall and believing I didn't care the floodgates were opened. My whole body was filled with love. I realized I am a loving person, I do care, and that love was the most important thing we have. I loved my mom again for the first time. I applied the same thing to my ex, and to life. I was so grateful to be alive and in love with life. I walked to Safeway to buy my ex a card and a flower at 8 am after being up all night and the walk there was so relaxing. I felt none of the fear or uncomfortable emotions I usually did. For the next 3 days I was on cloud nine. Food tasted better, I was happy. Things felt real and I was in the moment. It was brief though, but it changed me. It ended when sex wasn't working and I tried to masturbate to porn breaking and agreement I had with my ex. It muted the bad, but also the good.

Thankfully the Zoloft allowed me to think clearly in fights with my ex and to stand up for myself and realize I deserved better. I told my ex the next time she abuses me I'm leaving, sure enough she did and I left. She wrote me this huge letter apologizing for not realizing how much she was hurting me, but her behavior didn't change. I decided to go stay with my sister and get off of pot and Zoloft and get a clear assessment of my life. I moved to Santa Monica and slept on my sisters couch. The Zoloft withdrawal was terrible. There was constant sweating... I had to wear 3 layers of clothes because the bottom two would be drenched and I'd be freezing. I had to change regularly. Also the anxiety, and dreams. The worst was the brain zaps which started about 2 weeks in. I was jogging and I felt a random zap. They got worse and worse until every 10 minutes a large jolt would rack my entire body. For the last week I was up for 6 days straight until I decided to drink half a large bottle of nyquil in an attempt to sleep. I didn't really sleep, but when I got up every single part of my body hurt and I knew something was wrong. I went to the hospital and they said I had 103 degree temperature and was severely dehydrated. They gave me fluids through IV and did blood tests but of course determined I was perfectly healthy.

After the withdrawal stopped I started to study meditation. I read the power of now. I watched his videos. I would go and listen to guided meditation tapes. At first I couldn't meditate even for a second. The pain inside me was too great and I would immediately bounce my attention off and want to escape. The first success I found was watching Eckhart Tolle's videos and feeling his energy. Initially I would just fall asleep, but the best sleep ever. So relaxing and refreshing. I had never actually just fallen asleep without me laying there for 30 minutes to many hours but watching his videos I just drifted off without realizing it. Eventually I learned to relax and accept the negative feelings inside me. I learned to let them go. I started to become more aware of myself. I had one moment laying down where I had an intense vision of a flower, more vivid and clear than real life, and I felt tremendous joy and peace. I wasn't ready to go out on my own yet though and this new reality was tenuous, the old reality of pain being much more real. I decided (probably more out of fear than anything) to give my ex another chance. Also all my stuff was still up there. We had also made agreements that her previous behavior would stop.

Not 2 days after arriving did the anger and jealousy start again. I quickly went right back to my old habit of smoking pot every day. I was supposed to be finding a job but that just totally deflated me and I spent my time smoking and staying in my room. I knew I had to leave her but I couldn't confront it. Pretty much my only option was moving to LA and working a minimum wage job, hopefully find a place I could afford close by. I knew she deserved love but because of her anger I found it impossible to not close off to her to protect myself. I finally did leave after a few months and ended up back on my sisters couch in LA.
 
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So I wanted to talk about my experiences on Zoloft. The Zoloft muted all the negative emotions I was feeling. Since I wasn't being totally shut down I could actually see the thoughts behind the negative emotions and work to change them. I had already studied cognitive behavioral therapy among other things and found help with it but for some of the emotions there was just no way of thinking your way out of them. On Zoloft I was able to. Since my body wasn't constantly being bombarded I started to feel good, which was odd, as I was so used to migraines and constant physical pain. Once I had the comparison to what actually feeling good was like, I started to respect myself. I kept crying tears of joy. Where once I thought I was weak and damaged, I realized I was just a normal person in extraordinary circumstances. I was amazed at how well I handled it. I couldn't believe my strength. I started to stand taller, to love myself. My body wasn't used to it from the decades of low self esteem and slumped shoulders and my back went out one night. I was stuck on the bed for two hours in agony, unable to move. Shaking and beat red and sweating. Eventually I realized the only way to get up was to stop fighting the pain and accept it. My own resistance was just making it worse. I finally got up, and for the rest of the night I was walking around because sitting down was too difficult. Even with all that pain, my attitude was still positive. I validated myself for how awesome of an attitude I had about pain. I was loving and accepting myself.

I thought of applying that to my girlfriend at the time, and my mom. I thought what if I loved my mom, what would that feel like? At first that thought was met with disgust, an impossible idea. Did I ever love her? I thought well what if you just pretend, what would that feel like? I thought of how that would mean she was special, precious, something to be cherished. I remembered being a kid and all the nice things I did for her and how I cared for her. I remembered tender moments between us. I was hit by this incredible fear when I thought of allowing myself to feel that way, even with the zoloft muting me. I kept pursuing those thoughts though. Then I realized I truly did love her, and she was special to me, but it opened me up to being hurt by her. To love someone who hurts you so often is painful, and I learned to block it out and tell myself I didn't care and didn't need love. To love was weak. Once I realized that I was blocking out love by constantly having this wall and believing I didn't care the floodgates were opened. My whole body was filled with love. I realized I am a loving person, I do care, and that love was the most important thing we have. I loved my mom again for the first time. I applied the same thing to my ex, and to life. I was so grateful to be alive and in love with life. I walked to Safeway to buy my ex a card and a flower at 8 am after being up all night and the walk there was so relaxing. I felt none of the fear or uncomfortable emotions I usually did. For the next 3 days I was on cloud nine. Food tasted better, I was happy. Things felt real and I was in the moment. It was brief though, but it changed me. It ended when sex wasn't working and I tried to masturbate to porn breaking and agreement I had with my ex. It muted the bad, but also the good.

Thankfully the Zoloft allowed me to think clearly in fights with my ex and to stand up for myself and realize I deserved better. I told my ex the next time she abuses me I'm leaving, sure enough she did and I left. She wrote me this huge letter apologizing for not realizing how much she was hurting me, but her behavior didn't change. I decided to go stay with my sister and get off of pot and Zoloft and get a clear assessment of my life. I moved to Santa Monica and slept on my sisters couch. The Zoloft withdrawal was terrible. There was constant sweating... I had to wear 3 layers of clothes because the bottom two would be drenched and I'd be freezing. I had to change regularly. Also the anxiety, and dreams. The worst was the brain zaps which started about 2 weeks in. I was jogging and I felt a random zap. They got worse and worse until every 10 minutes a large jolt would rack my entire body. For the last week I was up for 6 days straight until I decided to drink half a large bottle of nyquil in an attempt to sleep. I didn't really sleep, but when I got up every single part of my body hurt and I knew something was wrong. I went to the hospital and they said I had 103 degree temperature and was severely dehydrated. They gave me fluids through IV and did blood tests but of course determined I was perfectly healthy.

After the withdrawal stopped I started to study meditation. I read the power of now. I watched his videos. I would go and listen to guided meditation tapes. At first I couldn't meditate even for a second. The pain inside me was too great and I would immediately bounce my attention off and want to escape. The first success I found was watching Eckhart Tolle's videos and feeling his energy. Initially I would just fall asleep, but the best sleep ever. So relaxing and refreshing. I had never actually just fallen asleep without me laying there for 30 minutes to many hours but watching his videos I just drifted off without realizing it. Eventually I learned to relax and accept the negative feelings inside me. I learned to let them go. I started to become more aware of myself. I had one moment laying down where I had an intense vision of a flower, more vivid and clear than real life, and I felt tremendous joy and peace. I wasn't ready to go out on my own yet though and this new reality was tenuous, the old reality of pain being much more real. I decided (probably more out of fear than anything) to give my ex another chance. Also all my stuff was still up there. We had also made agreements that her previous behavior would stop.

Not 2 days after arriving did the anger and jealousy start again. I quickly went right back to my old habit of smoking pot every day. I was supposed to be finding a job but that just totally deflated me and I spent my time smoking and staying in my room. I knew I had to leave her but I couldn't confront it. Pretty much my only option was moving to LA and working a minimum wage job, hopefully find a place I could afford close by. I knew she deserved love but because of her anger I found it impossible to not close off to her to protect myself. I finally did leave after a few months and ended up back on my sisters couch in LA.

If you did the zoloft withdrawl without medical supervision, I hope you have since been educated how dangerous that can be and that if you ever have to do a drug withdrawl in the future you do it with medical supervision.
 

Smurf

Gold Meritorious SP
Thankfully the Zoloft allowed me to think clearly in fights with my ex and to stand up for myself and realize I deserved better.

Tom, I'm so sorry you had to go through what you did with your mom. I read the emails she posted on ARS and she acted just awful, not to mention she totally violated your privacy, I don't know Virginia, personally, but she sounds like a woman that means well, but doesn't know how to express it. Show me a perfect parent & I will sell you Manhattan.

I don't understand you rationale for quitting Zoloft. You are no longer under the guilt & shame-based affect of Scientology. Is this a choice you made after alot of thought & consideration, or has someone told you that you needed to get off it? You posted that helped to clear your mind & think clearly. If it's providing positive results, why stop it?

I've been on Zoloft since 1995. First, I was taking 50 mg which is the basic dosage prescribed, but in 1998, it was upped to 100 mg. I haven't had any negative effects from it.. only positive. Fuck Scientology and their asinine, misguided war on anti-depressants.

On stopping Zoloft, you should never go cold turkey. You take 1/2 your regular dose for 2 weeks, then 1/2 of that for another 2 weeks, then stop using it. :)
 

AnonyMary

Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
If you did the zoloft withdrawl without medical supervision, I hope you have since been educated how dangerous that can be and that if you ever have to do a drug withdrawl in the future you do it with medical supervision.

Yes. Definitely. Only about 20% of patients suffer withdrawal symptoms from Zoloft and other SSRI's but when they do, it can be physically stressful. This is why withdrawal tapering off any SSRI antidepressant should be monitored by a doctor.

Here is some information for you, AgentIce, in the future event of you wanting to stop taking a medication:

SSRI Discontinuation or Withdrawal Syndrome
After some people stop taking a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), they experience a variety of symptoms. According to Dr. Ross J. Baldessarini, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and director of the psychopharmacology program at McLean Hospital, these symptoms may include “a flu-like reaction, as well as a variety of physical symptoms, that may include headache, gastrointestinal distress, faintness and strange sensations of vision or touch.”

This common phenomenon is known as SSRI discontinuation syndrome. (It may also be known as SSRI withdrawal syndrome.)

Discontinuation symptoms typically arise within days after stopping the medication, particularly if it was stopped abruptly. Stopping a high dose of a relatively short-acting drug also can bring on symptoms. In addition to the previously-mentioned symptoms, “anxiety and depressed or irritable mood are common features that may make it hard to differentiate SSRI discontinuation syndrome from early return of symptoms of depression,” Baldessarini said.

About 20 percent of people experience discontinuation symptoms, according to Dr. Michael D. Banov, medical director of Northwest Behavioral Medicine and Research Center in Atlanta, and author of Taking Antidepressants: Your Comprehensive Guide To Starting, Staying On and Safely Quitting. About 15 percent experience mild to moderately bothersome symptoms while fewer than five percent experience more severe symptoms, he said.

However, the risk for discontinuation syndrome is generally greater with potent, short-acting SSRIs —particularly paroxetine (Paxil and others) and venlafaxine (Effexor and others), Baldessarini said.

Discontinuation symptoms can happen with any antidepressant, but seem to be more common with the following classes of drugs:

SSRIs. These include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac and others), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft)

Inhibitors of inactivation of both norepinephrine and serotonin (SNRIs). These include chlompramine (Anafranil), venlafaxine (Effexor) and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq). Such drugs are prescribed more often for depression or severe anxiety disorders, so the withdrawal phenomenon is more common.

Whether you experience discontinuation syndrome after stopping an SSRI depends on several factors. These include the amount of time you’ve taken the medication, your dosage level, and the pill’s half-life (how quickly it is eliminated from your body). For instance, Prozac, which has about a five-week half-life, appears to cause discontinuation much less often than drugs with shorter half-lives, such as Paxil.

If discontinuation symptoms last more than a week or two, call your doctor. You may be in the early stages of a relapse.

Preventing Discontinuation Syndrome

There are ways that you can prevent or reduce discontinuation symptoms.

Don’t stop a psychotropic medicine abruptly. People may stop their medicine abruptly for various reasons, including feeling better or experiencing unpleasant side effects, as well as simply forgetting to refill a prescription. But stopping some medicines abruptly or “cold turkey” can cause discontinuation or withdrawal symptoms.

Talk to your doctor. If you’d like to stop your antidepressant, first talk it over with your prescribing clinician. Voice any concerns you have, and do not attempt to stop on your own. “It’s a collaborative venture between patient and doctor,” Baldessarini said. “Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor tough questions.”

Consider if you’ve received a thorough clinical assessment. Before stopping an antidepressant — or any medicine — your doctor should assess whether this is an appropriate time to do so. He or she should consider various factors, “including your past clinical history and current stress level,” Baldessarini said.

Discontinue slowly. One of the best ways to minimize discontinuation syndrome is by reducing doses of medicines, including SSRIs, slowly. Together, you and your doctor should decide how to reduce, then stop, the dose. Based on his and others’ clinical research, Baldessarini said that reducing the dose of an SSRI to zero gradually over two weeks or longer is prudent. Even slower discontinuation may be required if you’ve taken high doses for a long time.

Practice healthy habits. If you’re under a lot of stress, not sleeping well, not eating nourishing foods, or not sticking to a consistent schedule, stopping medicine successfully may be unrealistic. It can increase anxiety and depression, which can make stopping harder.
http://psychcentral.com/lib/ssri-discontinuation-or-withdrawal-syndrome/0005734
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
No one is perfect and life can be incredibly tough. It's a work in progress. It sounds like you're starting on working out a brand new life. It won't happen overnight, but as time goes on, you will make steady progress.
 

Wants2Talk

Silver Meritorious Patron
AgentIce - I am pleased to meet you. I share your feelings about: therapy, non judgmental friends, alcohol, shame, near homelessness and women. But, I can't seem to drop the tobacco, and have self medicated with coke instead of mushrooms.

I have found this forum to be a place where stuff that is hard to explain except to those who have been on the receiving end of Hubbard astral dick can be understood.

I will watch for what you have to say and share back as I can.
 
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AgentIce

Patron
Regarding the Zoloft withdrawal if I could do it again I would handle it differently. I actually never saw a doctor, only a "family practitioner" who talked to me for about 10 minutes before prescribing me Zoloft. She said it sounded like I had PTSD. This was after waiting two months going through government lines. I was taking 300 mg daily and by the time it started to work I found the strength and confidence in myself to change my life situation. My mindset was positive and I felt more in control of my feelings and thoughts and I thought I was ready to think the same way sober. When I recognized a negative thought and replaced it with a positive I actually physically felt better and it got to the point where I felt stable. When I left down to Santa Monica to stay with my sister my prescription was going to be out in a week and I knew it would take far longer than that to get a refill. More than that I didn't like the side effects and I just wanted to be clean and have a "reset". I read about the withdrawal before going off of it and it sounded severe but I didn't feel I had a choice at the time.

I don't have anything against anti-depressants and it may have been helpful for me to stay on the Zoloft and continue getting therapy. I just think they are very powerful and toxic for your body and they are given out like candy with little respect for what's going on. They should only be used in the worst case scenarios (and I think my situation qualified, my body needed to relax ASAP). It's sad doctors still don't fully understand the interactions going on in your body with these medications. Some of them are very harmful for you and dangerous (lithium for example). Meanwhile things like marijuana and mushrooms both of which are not addictive with far less side effects, have this huge stigma attached. I'm glad they are being studied again for therapeutic uses and the truth is coming out but I wish I had tried mushrooms first instead of Zoloft.

My depression did come back though. The cognitive behavioral therapy and new positive mindset I had adopted did help for sure, and I knew I was on the verge of a breakthrough, but old behaviors came back and my life situation was so bad that pretty soon the old depression came back. It wasn't until my friend Larry took the steps to get me in a free clinic and on Welbutrin that my depression lifted a bit. I found Welbutrin much easier to deal with and I had no side effects. Quitting it was also easy.

It will be interesting to talk to my therapist on Monday for the first time but I'm pretty sure I want to stay away from big pharma type solutions to things at least for the time being.
 

JustSheila

Crusader
Agentice, antidepressants work entirely differently than previous psychiatric drugs. They are not addictive, they do not mask symptoms, they actually address them. There is no comparison to lithium or any drug like that. If you take the time to research how antidepressants actually work biologically, you will see this is true. Some Viet Nam vets I know who take antidepressants do find they take a lot out of their systems, but they take vitamin supplements and believe that handles it and it seems to do the trick.

Since the Zoloft helped you when you first took it, then ten minute interview or not, it may very well have been the correct action. The fact that you regressed to depression after going off it is another indication that the prescription may have been right in the first place.

At any rate, even if you were to be on it a short time, short is more like six months or a year. One has to give himself a chance to reorganize his life in a better way socially, economically and otherwise so there is enough happy interaction to keep that happy level from falling too low again. Without that, going off antidepressants too quickly isn't the best idea. :no:

Since you've already had a prescription for it, you should have no trouble getting it refilled again.
 

AgentIce

Patron
So I wanted to talk more about what it was like for me growing up and my relationship with my mom.

As I've said I was born in the Sea Org and believe I left it around 2 or 3. In the previous thread my mom has said I was cared for and the nursery was good but I don't think she realizes how important those formative years are for a child. You take in everything around you almost by osmosis and I'm sure the energy present in any Scientology org had an affect on me. In fact my mom's own depression and mental condition I'm sure had a great impact just as it did for me later in life. It's well known that children raised in nurseries or orphanages do not get the proper amount of attention and affection, you need a 1 on 1 connection not one nurse for 10 kids. I have read that neglect of that sort caused various adverse reactions (in one study I read lack of physical contact caused death). There is no black/white, good/bad, but I'm sure there was neglect going on and some of my basic needs were not being met. Judging from the neglect that occurred later in my life when I can actually remember I doubt the pattern was drastically different when I was a baby.

So my mom says I was mean, I did mean things to my sisters, I hurt small animals etc and I wanted to talk about that. Those things are all true but said with the intention of painting me out to be this "evil, nasty" person (her words, said to me many times growing up). In other words portraying me as some kind of psychopath. I always refused to believe I was inherently bad or evil. In spite of having done bad things, if I was truly a bad person I would feel no remorse or guilt or shame. There was a part of me that she could not break or taint, and I held on to that during the worst of the attacks on my character and sanity. During those attacks she would make sure to hit me at my weakest points, the fact that I knew I had all those flaws.

I remember being very angry growing up... it would probably be classified as narcissistic rage and in a sense it was very selfish of me. No one else was looking out for me so I had to be the one to. As a child I had an innate sense of fairness. You do something to me and I'd do it back to you. So when my mom and I would have fights I would give her the same energy she gave me right back. You are saying I'm a terrible person, bad evil nasty and selfish and showing me so much hate and disgust right now? Screw you! I remember many fights and screaming matches and me saying some very mean things. "I hate you", "I wish you were dead", etc. Just total rage and hurt being unleashed. The same energy which was being given to me.

I can clearly remember one fight where the anger and rage inside me was just at the boiling point where I was about to explode with a verbal attack. I think I must have been around 7 or 8. We had already had many fights like this and each time I regretted what I said and also the consequences of my actions. I was living with an unbalanced person who had control over my life. I relied on this person for my survival. It made it a very tricky situation when my character and sanity were being attacked. I can remember deciding in that moment that I would rise above that anger, that I wouldn't unleash it. Partially for self preservation, but also because I didn't want to be like my mom. I had punched holes in walls, I slammed a door so hard once it shattered all the glass. I learned to at least somewhat control that rage. I felt ashamed when I let it get to that point. I felt like I'd lost, because I lost control and let the other person get to me. I don't think she understood how much the anger and hate she showed me hurt me. I know I didn't realize how much I was hurting her either but I think it was in that moment of creating some distance from the anger I was able to gain some perspective and see myself clearly. To not just give in and identify completely with the feeling.

Unfortunately I think all I'd learned to do was hide my anger, to push it down. This caused me to be very passive aggressive. Every argument we had where I knew I was right but had to shut up so I didn't get kicked out or put in ethics or my stuff taken away, I remembered, and that hurt and pain didn't go away. I imagine it must have been very hard for her to have a son who seemed to wish her ill... always pointing out her mistakes. Just hoping for once she would admit she was wrong, on something. I was the only one who would fight with her, I think because her and I are so similar. We are both strong and stubborn beyond belief, so in me she had met her match. Unfortunately the power dynamic was heavily in her favor.

So that was the dynamic present between my mom and I. At the same time, my sister was rarely in trouble. My dad and mom looked at her differently, that was all it took. I could see they liked her more. What was so wrong with me? I became insanely jealous, and this caused me to act out and do mean things sometimes (at a young age). I felt bad at those times too, again because of me losing control of my anger. I felt if I could just be perfect then they would love me. I was desperate for some sort of control. I became the class clown in a sense in my family as a way to cope. I was starved for affection and love and I thought I could get people to like me that way. I'd crack jokes and get everyone to laugh but only to hide the inner pain I felt. It wasn't until later that my sister was caught setting me up to get me in trouble, and things got a bit easier for me in that regard.

At school I didn't talk much and I was bullied. Just another place where I thought no one liked me and I guess I just sort of assumed that was the status quo. We moved to a nicer area and at that school all the kids had new clothes, they were nicer, and the dynamic had shifted. Now I was the scary guy. I took on the role of bully for a while, it felt nice to be on the other side of the equation for once. I remember poking this kid with a pencil until he bled in the 3rd grade. Once he bled and asked me to stop I did, I felt bad for hurting him. I shoved some other kid. That was about the extent of my bullying phase, I didn't want to be that person. By the 6th grade I actually started to make friends and that kid who I stabbed said "What happened to you? You are nice now."

We moved shortly after that and one of the first days at the new school I got in a fight. A kid had me up against the fence while the whole school cheered him on and I was just frozen. Once it was over I broke into tears in the hallway. I remember in junior high one kid would follow me in the hallways punching me in the neck. I would hide in my room and stay home from school (I missed 60 days one year). My parents didn't know (just another example of how involved they were in my life). I remember my step-dad trying to teach me to fight by throwing some slaps and telling to defend myself. I was already at the breaking point barely hiding the grief and pain and lack of self-esteem I felt and those slaps just made it to real and I started crying so that was the end of the lesson. I was nearly always on the verge of tears barely maintaining the shell I had around people. I remember a teacher asked me if everything was ok because he'd noticed my work slipping off and I couldn't even respond I was so thankful someone cared, I just started crying.

Sometimes I would try and ask for help or talk about my pain but unless I was in tears or at the breaking point I got no attention. My moms pain was always greater, or it was just case, or I'm nattering or complaining, etc. I just learned that my pain didn't matter, and no one cared about my pain but me. It was reinforced many many times that I was the one who had to look out for myself. My mom cared about herself more than me. I don't blame her for that, it's a Scientology phenomenon to become extremely selfish. It explodes your ego and turns you into a narcissist, you become obsessed with yourself in an unhealthy way.

Regarding hurting small animals, well I didn't do much of that and most of it was when they wouldn't love me back. The old narcissist way of thinking if I do X you must do Y and when someone breaks that implied contract you feel rage. They don't think of people as their own person and that you can't force anyone to do anything or control them. So when I'd try to get my cat to snuggle and he'd get mad and scratch me, I'd lash out. It got to the point where I'd "punish" my cat for not loving me, say locking him up etc. At one point I got so angry at him that I threw him about 10 feet into a garbage can and he came out limping. That's when I stopped. It took about 5 years of treating him well but eventually he learned to love me.

As far as lying, I did have a problem with lying. I would exaggerate my abilities, I would try to make myself look good to other people. I would lie to myself about how I really felt or what I really wanted. If I had done something I thought would make me look bad I found it very difficult to be honest. I think it goes back to fear of abandonment. I would literally feel that life or death fear and before I knew it a lie would come out of my mouth. Learned to accept and love myself has helped tremendously with that, but there are times I still struggle with being honest especially about very charged subjects or situations where people might be likely to judge someone.

The difference between my mom and I, is that I can SEE my flaws and weaknesses. She does not know when she is remembering things wrong or getting confused about reality, she thinks she has never made a mistake like that. She thinks I am her enemy and that I launch into these attacks on her and do all these bad things to her using how I get when I'm angry as an example. Leaving out the part where we argued for hours and she keeps saying insane bullshit until I just lose all respect for her and lose my cool. I can't say how hard it was to try to keep my anger under control, she is VERY good at pissing people off. When I finally did leave, and I 100% knew she was crazy and I was right and there was no choice now to stay at that place because I would have rather died, those decades of repressed anger came out. For a good few minutes I felt righteous and every cell of my body was just screaming out "NOOOO" with every ounce of strength I had. We kept yelling over each other for a good two minutes but finally she shut up, the first time I'd ever shut her up. She said "you need to leave." I yelled "fuck you I already am."

When I would try to contact them again, hoping that maybe I was over the anger and could have a normal conversation with them, she wouldn't even talk to me. I would talk to Mike and it would always start with "What are your lies?" something that usually pissed me off right away. I remember one phone call where I overheard her say she was psychic and I said "you aren't psychic." That resulted in her screaming "you're nasty evil and selfish and you've always been that way and you'll never change!". I gave up on trying to have a relationship with them, our phone calls were years apart.

At one point I saw they had a blog and had posted all this stuff about me, that I was paid to write the posts here, that people were helping me etc. More of the same crazy shit that caused me to leave. I remember when she said she had received telepathic communication from LRH that someone helped me write an email and no amount of arguing or persuasion could change her mind. She was completely disconnected from me, and had no idea of my own internal reality, but she "loved" me. It's a sick mind fuck and I'm glad I got away from her. The hypocrisy sent me into a rage that night, she's always going on about how I'm a liar and she actually made me feel bad about myself because I knew there were times I did. It was a major reason I didn't write here, I didn't trust myself. She'd always use my weaknesses to get me to give in (more like cave-in). I called them and told them if they didn't take that down I was going to sue them and it just turned into a big argument. I was drinking with friends and they couldn't believe how crazy my mom/step-dad sounded. I had just lost all respect for them so we made a couple prank calls.. the whole time with Mike threatening to call the cops and that we'd be going to jail. That just made us lose more respect and laugh harder.

I have come a long way to try and forgive her and understand her, and I tried again not too long ago to talk with them. It of course started with Mike saying "What are your lies?" and I just said "What are yours?". I handled myself pretty well I'd say. Then I heard my mom ask "Who is that?" and my step-dad said "Tom.". She sighs and coldly says "OH BROTHER, he wants something. Money, or love (as if wanting love from your mom is a bad thing?)". I guess her psychic powers had not let her know that I had a good job at that point. Mike started talking about how they were never Scientologists, as if they had planned to infiltrate the church and do this all along. I said bullshit, you just can't accept the gravity of what happened to you and your own responsibility in it so you are telling yourself a story to make yourself feel better (ego manipulation). They didn't take too kindly to that.

After those last conversations I told them I am done trying and that if they won't to have a relationship with me it's on them at this point. That resulted in more emails from my Mom including the apology which I found very validating others saw how ridiculous of an apology it was. I think I may find my response to her email to show you what I thought of it.

The fact is everything she accuses me of she is guilty, and does not seem to be aware of it. She was involved with my half-sister and my grandpa cutting off communication with me using some anger filled letters I sent them as evidence of how bad I am and that they just need to break way from me. Every time my step sister comes back from there it's clear they want to manipulate peoples opinions of me and control communication to me. It doesn't surprise me, I have a low tolerance for bullshit and they don't take too kindly to that. Lying and mixing up memories she does to an extreme degree but still has never apologized or realized what she did. Her mixing up incidents to an insane degree was the 100% certainty I needed to leave. Her saying the whole Scientology thing was a big plan is just another example of that.

Well I guess I needed to get that stuff off my chest even though I said I wouldn't really talk about it. It does still make me somewhat angry to think about it all. At this point I know my anger was actually completely justified, albeit still unhealthy and not the best way to handle things.

I would love to go on some talk show where she tries to justify herself. I'd honestly just be really embarrassed for her though... she wouldn't last long and would make herself look bad publicly. Not that she's doing any better in my other thread.

I hope that her posting in my other thread and seeing what people said and thought might end up being an "intervention" of sorts where she realizes she needs to change.
 

AgentIce

Patron
Agentice, antidepressants work entirely differently than previous psychiatric drugs. They are not addictive, they do not mask symptoms, they actually address them. There is no comparison to lithium or any drug like that. If you take the time to research how antidepressants actually work biologically, you will see this is true. Some Viet Nam vets I know who take antidepressants do find they take a lot out of their systems, but they take vitamin supplements and believe that handles it and it seems to do the trick.

Since the Zoloft helped you when you first took it, then ten minute interview or not, it may very well have been the correct action. The fact that you regressed to depression after going off it is another indication that the prescription may have been right in the first place.

At any rate, even if you were to be on it a short time, short is more like six months or a year. One has to give himself a chance to reorganize his life in a better way socially, economically and otherwise so there is enough happy interaction to keep that happy level from falling too low again. Without that, going off antidepressants too quickly isn't the best idea. :no:

Since you've already had a prescription for it, you should have no trouble getting it refilled again.

At the time my emotions were so out of control and my body so stressed that my brain just didn't function well enough to see the negative thoughts behind creating all the problems. I'd have to go lie down and need days to recover after various emotional pangs. Once my emotions calmed down I could see the thoughts and I changed them and I felt better. Zoloft was extremely strong though, I could not masturbate on it and everything was muted, even my good feelings. I had some bi-polar like tendencies too, missing my highs and lows and trying to do things to get them back like upping my dosage and things like that. It's a severe clamping down on what your brain is doing though, it's very strong.

My depression coming back was probably more related to abusing pot, but also the life situation I was in at the time (almost homeless, minimum wage job, no car, and not much support etc). It might have been good to have Zoloft at the time. I would be very afraid to try Zoloft again now though as I am much more balanced emotionally and I'm not having crazy panic attacks or anxiety or anything like that anymore. Like I said mushrooms did far more for that in a much more natural feeling and healthy way. You literally could see my body transform as old negative thoughts were let go of and my ego dissolved. I was glowing and radiant. Zoloft just muted everything for me, a totally different feeling but at the time it was practical.

It's just sad to me that something with that strong of a withdrawal, and that takes so long to build up in your system is given more priority and credence than natural things that aren't bad for your body and take immediate effect. Regardless of what you are taking though the biggest problem for me was not having any guidance or support or therapy which is just as important.
 

JustSheila

Crusader
(Wow, you and your mother both type awfully fast!)

I see what you're saying about Zoloft. If you had counseling during the time you were on Zoloft in order to get your life back in order, it would have gone much better for you. Still, it sounds like it wasn't the right antidepressant for you anyway. The right antidepressant shouldn't make you hazy, but getting rid of the extreme highs and lows is a positive, not a negative. Some people become addicted to their own manic highs and don't want to give them up, but for the sake of stability, it's necessary.

Different antidepressants have different effects. There is no test yet to determine the correct one for an individual, so it's trial and error. You just go back to your doctor and tell him/her the problems and they try another one. The best one for you would help you think more sharply and be more productive by relieving the depressing thoughts, but also help you become more stable (no extreme highs and lows). You need to get used to the idea that the extreme highs and lows are NOT beneficial to you and be willing to give them up.

Natural drugs are far from harmless. Most pharmaceuticals are based on natural drugs, or are just synthesized drugs of those found in nature. One of the biggest problems with marijuana is that it stays in your system for months and it usually kills ambition. So yah, you're relaxed, but then, you didn't do a thing to fix up the problems in your life while on it either. Blame that on the mushrooms and weed.

(I'll have to get back to your other posts another day.)
 

AgentIce

Patron
This is what I sent my mom in response to her "apology" (which was actually a much longer email but I don't feel the need to post it here... even though she posted part of it when the first line is "I wanted to send this to you privately")

Hi Mom,

Sorry I've been putting off replying but I was planning on it. I apologize for keeping you waiting.

First off, I appreciate you reaching out to me and I do take this as an attempt to repair our relationship. I am all for that. It's obvious that both of us felt very hurt and betrayed. I want you to understand that the way I've acted over the years is just an expression of just how much I was hurt, and just how betrayed I felt. I am not an agent, an agent is specifically someone doing work for someone else. My actions were my own, I was angry and I acted in ways I'm not proud of. For that I am sorry.

Mom, I don't accept this apology. You are apologizing for the wrong things. Things I'm not mad at you about and things you had no responsibility in (there was no chance of me joining the Sea Org or Ron's Org). Second off, it's not even an apology. It's you defending yourself as if you did nothing wrong. An apology is an admission of wrong-doing where the person feels guilt and regret. I don't see that here. What exactly do you regret doing? Doing your best to protect me from the church? You really think that's what hurt me?

I will keep this simple, my only issues with you are with how you treat me as a person and how you choose to act. I have never once received a genuine apology from you and that is one major issue I have with you. I don't think you really feel bad for anything you did, so how can you apologize? You only see what I did to you, and even that is misguided and distorted.

Growing up if I came to you in pain, your pain was always greater. If I hurt my knee, you hurt your knee even worse and for longer. Your pain and feelings were always #1 and we all took a back seat to any issues you had. If I thought I was right on something and chose to fight you on it and stand up for myself you attacked my character, you brought up the past, you used threats and intimidation to get me to back down. You basically did everything an SP would do. You did whatever you could to get me to admit I was wrong and give in. I learned to hide my irritation, my real self and my own thoughts. I learned to walk on egg shells because I knew calling you out would just start an argument. I often apologized to you when I knew full well I was right only because I felt bad for how I behaved or because I was terrified of being kicked out. I'd apologize knowing you were just as wrong and guilty but I always had to be the stronger person. Do you have any idea how many times I did that? How many times did you break me down into tears? How HARD it was to come back and apologize to you for the 1000x time when I knew I was right? How utterly humiliating and debasing and confusing that was for me? I intentionally hid all this from you and put on the "class clown" and "happy & excited" hats because it seemed to make you happy. It took a lot of energy to hide myself like that and I was always exhausted and needed to hide in my room and cry/get a release. It just got worse and worse until I locked myself in there nearly all the time.

The truth of the matter is I put up a wall to protect myself from you as a child and it just got thicker through the years. To the point where you could be screaming in my face and I felt nothing. That is how much you hurt me. You made me feel guilty for things I didn't do. You shook my confidence in myself and my own perceptions and intuitions. I was completely stifled by you and not only that you had no idea what was going on. I didn't talk to you about how I felt, I hid everything from you for my own safety. All those years of biting my tongue, not saying what I knew to be true, limiting myself for you. It was only until I knew for certain just how wrong you were that I was able to left and all those years of anger came exploding out. I was so pissed I went along with what you thought only because I was afraid. It took me a long while to forgive myself.

When I got out I was hallucinating, I was sleepwalking, I had constant chronic pain and numb emotions. You really have no idea what I went through because you don't know me. I'm through it so I feel I understand you much more though.

I have always longed for you to understand how much you hurt me and to truly apologize. In that vein I now understand that I must have hurt you greatly as well. I get it. That's why we have trouble talking, we are both so hurt the would is sensitive and raw.

You are right in that I "instigate". I verbally "jab" you because I'm trying to communicate to you. I'm trying to open your eyes and call you out and let you see what I see. I will work on not doing that, I think it does more harm than good.

I will try not to talk behind your back, not that I talk about you hardly at all anyways. That does not include me talking about my own feelings and experiences. if I want to talk about what I experienced growing up in a Scientology family I will do that. That was the whole point of my post anyways. It was never about you. I didn't even think you'd read it.

Anyways, I hope this creates some more understanding and doesn't come across as just another attack on you.

Love,
Tom
 

AgentIce

Patron
(Wow, you and your mother both type awfully fast!)

I see what you're saying about Zoloft. If you had counseling during the time you were on Zoloft in order to get your life back in order, it would have gone much better for you. Still, it sounds like it wasn't the right antidepressant for you anyway. The right antidepressant shouldn't make you hazy, but getting rid of the extreme highs and lows is a positive, not a negative. Some people become addicted to their own manic highs and don't want to give them up, but for the sake of stability, it's necessary.

Different antidepressants have different effects. There is no test yet to determine the correct one for an individual, so it's trial and error. You just go back to your doctor and tell him/her the problems and they try another one. The best one for you would help you think more sharply and be more productive by relieving the depressing thoughts, but also help you become more stable (no extreme highs and lows). You need to get used to the idea that the extreme highs and lows are NOT beneficial to you and be willing to give them up.

Natural drugs are far from harmless. Most pharmaceuticals are based on natural drugs, or are just synthesized drugs of those found in nature. One of the biggest problems with marijuana is that it stays in your system for months and it usually kills ambition. So yah, you're relaxed, but then, you didn't do a thing to fix up the problems in your life while on it either. Blame that on the mushrooms and weed.

(I'll have to get back to your other posts another day.)

Hah yes we do. All those 8-12 hour arguments and debates with my mom gave me an extreme tolerance for long conversations and talking, part of why I want to be a writer. Typing 120 WPM at 99% accuracy helps too :D My mom is the only person I've met who can out-talk to me though.

I agree re: the natural drugs too and regarding pot I definitely took it to a very deep level. I unleashed the extent of my full addictive personality on it. I have also learned to give up on the highs and lows... although that is probably the thing I struggle with the most. I'm so used to all the drama, it feels strange and empty to just feel clean and relaxed. The side effects of abusing pot are depression and lack of motivation and I definitely had those issues. A big part of not quitting is I was scared of feeling the way I did before I started smoking. I'm willing to try anything though. I'm really looking forward to talking with my therapist first and going from there.
 

JustSheila

Crusader
That's great that you're moving off the drugs, and I'm glad to hear you're going to see your therapist again. :thumbsup:

Going off pot, you may need something to sleep at night until it's out of your system. It tends to wreck normal sleep patterns.

It will take time to re-establish some sort of normality and productive patterns in your life (if you ever even had that). It's okay to get bored while you're doing that - just remind yourself that all that drama simply caused you pain and that you are important enough to allow yourself this time to heal and re-format your life.

With your upbringing and family difficulties, changing lifetime patterns seems to me a huge wall to climb. You should consider joining some sort of support group today and get started without delay. Without the stable patterns to fall back upon, you're really susceptible to getting into bad habits again. Use the support groups. Be willing to follow new behaviours and focus on simplicity until your new behaviours become second nature.

I wish you heaps of love and happiness, but you really should get onto the social support meetings (in person) straight away. You are not alone and don't have to do this alone.

:heartflower:

Sheila
 

AgentIce

Patron
Thank you Shiela :) I wish I hadn't been so stubborn and sought help sooner, I really was not able to do it alone. I'll look into finding a support group but it gets difficult without having a car and managing my work schedule along with it.
 

JustSheila

Crusader
You're welcome. :) Getting to a support grou is not as difficult as you might think. Most support groups meet in the evening, like 6 or 7 pm, and last only an hour or two. Nearly all of them are free or nearly so.

Think of it as something fun to do with friends. They're pretty good, usually quite social, friendly and enjoyable, and some lifetime friendships are often made there. :yes:
 

AgentIce

Patron
A friend just stopped by. He's the type that does't like to talk about his feelings but he's also honest and let's me know when I'm talking about something he doesn't want to. He said something that blew my mind. Something I already knew but was very helpful to have validated. He said when I start talking it's like I don't care what he thinks, it's all about getting my feelings out and what happened to me. Like my feelings are just more important and better. That's exactly how my mom made me feel. It's like I said the things I hated most in myself were the exact same things I hated about my mom. Many people have told me this and they love me and I'm glad they've been able to help me see it, it definitely was a blind spot. When I'd start talking it was like I was possessed and just had to get my thoughts out. I want to break the cycle of abuse, I don't want to spread what I went through to others. That's part of the reason I haven't tried to get with anyone, and avoided making friends. It was very hard to trust that I was a good person. I'm so glad I've been able to make friends, and it did start with me getting over what happened, letting go and not needing to think about it 24/7. That was very hard. Feeling love in my first relationship was the start of that. Caring about someone else just as much as I did myself. It set me on a path of learning to put myself into other people, to give. Reading all those posts my mom wrote was definitely a trigger for me. I HAD to write after that. I think a better choice would have been to find a way to get a clear head. Exercise, meditation, etc. What I really want to write about is the positive mindset I have developed, more than a huge rant about how bad my life was. I'm actually very grateful for where I'm at. I'm a lot more accepting of myself and others. I've come so far from the mess I was when I left it's totally amazing to me. I still think I've got work to do though. Thank you guys for all the support.
 

JustSheila

Crusader
It's good you have a friend you can talk with and your friend has been helpful to you. :thumbsup:

Arnie Lerma linked a way of dealing with psychopaths that I hadn't seen before and it's really quite helpful. It also helps in dealing with anyone who occasionally gets manic: http://www.lovefraud.com/2012/02/10/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/

This got me thinking that as long as we own our emotions, meaning, express them only as we wish, when we wish, how we wish or not express them at all if we don't wish, and not because others cause us to become emotional, then we're in control and nobody - psychopath or otherwise - can upset our equilibrium.
 
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