Tuesday, February 3, 2015
As I continue my healing journey I have noticed that my prominent needs are changing. This is not surprising. As we change our needs will naturally change. I feel encouraged by the fact that I feel less in need of intensive support compared to how I once felt. In other words, my life is improving.
This evening, as I rode the bus home, I made a list of my needs I am most aware of now. They are listed below in no particular order of primacy. I need:
An opportunity to apply my skills in a context I will find meaningful
I have been working on this goal for several years. My enthusiasm for continuing to strive to achieve this goal waxes and wanes. Right now my enthusiasm for continuing to show up and try is quite low. I have a network of supportive people. I also continue to be as creative as I can be in my search process. But I feel deeply frustrated. I feel as if my life is passing me by. If something doesn’t change for me in the near future I feel I might be involuntarily consigned to a future of inescapable poverty.
More healthy men in my life…for friendship as well as deeper intimacy
I have dreamed of having this be true of my life. I do have some male friends who are healthy. And I am grateful for them. But I would like to have more men in my life who are my age peers. I have experienced a dearth of this for so long that I sometimes feel the lack of such healthy male peers is going to ultimately leave me feeling a bit psychologically warped.
What complicates this aspect of my life even more is the fact that I do not feel I am the chronological age I am. And I also do not want to act my age anyhow. I want to recapture the adolescence I never fully lived or appreciated. Some people might categorize such a yearning as clear evidence of a mid-life crisis. Perhaps it could be correctly described with such a term. In one sense it’s purely a matter of semantics. Regardless of whatever label I append to what I am experiencing the journey itself is very real. I feel my yearning in a very visceral way.
A real financial future
When I ventured into graduate school (again) in 2009 it was my sincere hope that my willingness to enhance my existing education would eventually garner me a handsome return on my investment. I essentially completed my most recent degree four years ago. It has been a period of immense disappointment.
I don’t know that I will ever have a true financial future. I would like to believe I will. But I do not want to nurture unhealthy illusions. I still have big dreams for myself but I don’t know if they are even realistic any more. This is another good reason for me to be in therapy. I need someone to offer me a consistent reality check.
Opportunities to have fun
My desire to relive my virtually unlived adolescence often manifests as a desire to have a lot more fun in my life. I find myself attempting to rediscover that part of myself that knows how to have fun. My childhood was altogether too serious; I lived in a state of heightened anxiety so much of the time.
If I decide to pursue a doctorate at the University of Hawaii one of my biggest fears is the very real possibility that my need for lightness, joy and fun could be so immense that it could undermine my willingness to dedicate myself to the demands of such an endeavor.
Health insurance that will provide me some measure of peace of mind
I want to minimize the possibility that I ever go through something like what I have in the last twenty months. As a means of providing myself some significant protection I am intent on researching any means by which I might be able to secure better health insurance in the future by virtue of the fact that I was a victim of the unfortunate negligent, careless and even corrupt behavior of others. In my most resentful moments a common thought that has gone through my mind has been this one: ‘Why should I pay the costs for other people’s mistakes?’ In a sense I am railing against the injustice of the world. I want a real chance to grow, thrive and be happy. I want to transcend the harm caused to me by people who didn’t treat me with the consistent care and concern I needed.
Whether I will realize this particular goal or the other ones I have enumerated remains to be seen. By I am determined to keep trying. I do not want to give up on my life. I have worked too hard for too long to give up on myself. But I am really tired of trying. Those closest to me know the truth of this.
Like last year at this time I find myself looking forward to the beauty of the turning of the seasons from winter to spring. I am grateful to feel much less weary of winter than I did last year. This winter has been much milder compared to last year. And I am a much healthier person than I was a year ago.
I have only just recently begun Year Two of being sub-clinical for PTSD. What a journey it has already been!