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AIBU to think that nothing can touch me but also to be secretly terrified?

(68 Posts)
CannotDestroy Wed 22-Jan-20 23:17:15

Background is I survived a medical emergency made worse by clinical negligence. All very distressing, painful, long recovery yadda yadda. But since then I've changed. I see things in black and white, I'm very forthright in my views and don't piss around. This is very unlike how I was before. But it is proving productive. I have been promoted so more money, more seniority, I'm suddenly making decisions and taking leadership about complex matters and I'm getting them right. My personal life is also going well in that I'm socialising more as am now a proactive organiser. I know how to oil an evening and make things go well. I am busy, successful even, but I don't quite know how I'm doing it because really I'm disconnected from everything which is the secret behind my relatively newfound success - you don't agonise over decisions when you don't really care about the outcome of them.

So actually I'm not enjoying any of this because it doesn't feel like it's really happening to me, although I take a certain pleasure in notching up achievements met. But I am observing it from the outside if you like and sort of marvelling at my secret power. The secret power being not really giving a shit.

Can anyone identity with this??

Ponoka7 Wed 22-Jan-20 23:32:31

I think 'going through your medical emergency' has put life in perspective. Which is usual.

You realise that all the petty shit actually doesn't matter.

I think you could be in a type of shock or similar to PTSD. It might be worth speaking to your GP about it.

BillHadersNewWife Wed 22-Jan-20 23:33:45

I can. I've not given a shit for some time now but not through traumatic medical events. I think you need counselling OP.

Or you should write a book. Not kidding. Write it out...and you might be able to help others with your discovery as well as help yourself.

TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 Wed 22-Jan-20 23:37:36

I kind of get this it's a 'it can't be any worse than what I've dealt with' mentality.

I listen to people at work getting het up about tiny things, making small mistakes and declaring them they worst thing that's ever happened to me' and think, really, you're fucking lucky then!

How long ago was your bad situation?

It gets better, you start to feel more. I lost my mum to suicide when I was 21. After that I was quite numb to everything else, nothing was as bad as that so it was fine but not really good. Then I lost my dad to a long illness when I was 29.

I had my DD at 30 and she is so amazing she's given me back a lot of the emotions I seemed to lose.

At work though I am quite calculating and find it easy to make the big decisions and look at a situation very coldly and by the facts, I think just because, it's just work, just processes, just business. It's not life or death.

Eckhart Wed 22-Jan-20 23:37:51

I agree it's a shock response. I had similar after abuse.

The detached feeling faded (which is good because it felt horrible and strange), but by the time that happened, my new, strong behaviours were ingrained habits.

So I conclude that this is the mechanism by which tough experiences make us stronger.

CannotDestroy Wed 22-Jan-20 23:37:57

Thank you.

I also have a secret power which is that I know what people are really thinking.

This translates that in all situations they are looking out for themselves, and that that's what motivates them regardless of how they express themselves. It makes them so much easier to handle once you know that. Like, really know it, experientially.

Part of me is horrified at how cynical this has made me but it's proved accurate every time and also made dealing with people much more straightforward.

But it can't be that simple, can it? Have I really unlocked the key to dealing with the world?

DarkMutterings Wed 22-Jan-20 23:39:51

To a degree I do this, also after a big life change - all be it not as traumatic as yours. I don't get embroiled in shit, I make a decision and move on or just observe everyone else game playing especially at work, then of course I seem like the 'voice of reason' whereas I'm actually the 'voice of don't actually care'.

I think some of that is healthy but you sound very detached, too much. I agree some counselling would probably help. Don't lose all your super power, but it may be healthier to get some perspective on what genuinely matters and become more emotionally involved in those parts.

CannotDestroy Wed 22-Jan-20 23:42:41

@TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 yy to the can't be any worse mentality. Now when I encounter any hostility I can feel part of me thinking "Really? You think that's going to stop me? I nearly died last year. That all you got? Fuck you, bitch."

I have never thought like that before.

Eckhart Wed 22-Jan-20 23:47:25

Is it the key to dealing with the world? I'm not sure that having a better idea of people's motivations is going to perfect how you deal with the world, but yes, it makes lots of things clearer.

It's not that special a power, that's something I realised. Lots of people can do it. Lots of people were raised that way and don't even realise it's a thing.

CannotDestroy Wed 22-Jan-20 23:47:31

And @TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 I am so sorry about your mum and dad. That is horrible and of course you had to learn how to care for and protect yourself.

As an aside I totally agree with your username.

cakeandchampagne Wed 22-Jan-20 23:48:47

It seems you have a new outlook.
But is it possible you still haven’t fully processed your terrifying/awful medical situation?

Apileofballyhoo Wed 22-Jan-20 23:55:04

Here, OP, you can't really not give a shit or you'd be a Tory voter now.

I am not where you are, but I kind of get it. I have toughened up immensely. Self preservation.

CannotDestroy Wed 22-Jan-20 23:55:47

Maybe but it's always kind of there. I don't think about it though. It's shit, why would I? I know this.

CannotDestroy Wed 22-Jan-20 23:59:55

@Eckhart I mean that I know how to manipulate people now. Now I've figured out that they just want what suits them, if you frame it that way they'll go for it. And I'm kind of marvelling at myself doing that but also thinking from the outside it's very cold behaviour. And wishing I got real pleasure from it.

Justaboy Thu 23-Jan-20 00:05:10

Can you say what sort of medical issue it was and area of the body only if you want to of course..

namechangingtime Thu 23-Jan-20 00:18:28

I had a traumatic birth, lost lots of blood, crash cart called, was unconscious for a while but no idea how long as everyone just assumed I'd zoned out on gas and air. I remember clearly thinking "that's it, I'm dead there's nothing anyone can do I've just got to wait it out now". Traumatised me more than anything else had in my life, and considering just a couple years before I'd tried to commit suicide and nine months before giving birth I'd been so depressed I was planning to try again, it was terrifying knowing just how much I don't want to die. So in a way my depression has been "cured", I still get low, I still want to run away sometimes, but I'm nowhere needing medicine or therapy like I did before. However I'm also petrified of dying now, I look each way multiple times before crossing the road, and if a car is far away enough to cross safely I still won't do it until the road is absolutely clear, I can't swallow tablets anymore in case I choke on one or in case it triggers my overdose from years ago and I end up in hospital, and for a long time I could barely eat because I was so scared of choking/having an allergic reaction/getting ill and then dehydrated and then needing to go into hospital but not coming back out (my friend went into hospital for a bad cold, had to stay in because of dehydration, didn't come back out).
So I guess in a way my near death experience created the opposite reaction in me than yours did to you. Not sure which I'd rather if I had to choose to be honest.

CannotDestroy Thu 23-Jan-20 00:18:55

@BillHadersNewWife does not giving a shit feel ok? It doesn't, quite, for me.

But then, giving a shit wasn't working out too well anyway. I'm kind of amazed at the difference. I mean, I'm £400 richer a month ffs just from being a bitch.

@Justaboy not sure how it's relevant.

WalkingOutOfFlabbiness Thu 23-Jan-20 00:22:14

You are fine as long as you can still be close to the people who it would hurt you to lose. You are fine as long as you can still see the people who aren’t only motivated by self interest. If you can’t you need more time to process

mindfulmam Thu 23-Jan-20 00:22:57

That sounds strange. I mean it's not balanced. It's as if you are only living part of your life- the functioning organising part, but your inner life and feelings are not there.
I think you need to process the trauma in therapy or you could crash and burn.

chaineater Thu 23-Jan-20 00:25:44

Can you give an example of how knowing that people want what suits them has helped you?

chaineater Thu 23-Jan-20 00:25:59

I think this thread is really interesting!

ProfYaffle Thu 23-Jan-20 00:33:36

I can relate.

My dh was diagnosed with a serious life threatening condition 15 years ago, we've gone through multiple surgeries and medical negligence in that time. My dd also almost died a couple of years ago. And there's been another equally serious family issue I won't go into online.

I feel similar to you in that I'm much, much more confident at work now. Career is flying etc. For me it's down to confidence, I've dealt with way worse shit than can ever happen in my workplace. I confidently, articulately, patiently and assertively argued with a consultant about my dd's condition and probably saved her life.

I did have poor self esteem before and now see that I was wrong about that and I am way more capable than I ever thought. I don't care about work in the same way I care about my family's lives. So that's why I feel as I do.

It's all still raw for you. There's something brittle in your posts. I get the impression you might still be buzzing off the adrenaline? Therapy's a wonderful thing, just about everyone in my family has had it and we've all benefited from it. Access it if you can, it'll help you sustain what you've gained and move forward.

Justaboy Thu 23-Jan-20 00:33:50

@Justaboy not sure how it's relevant

Well I'd expect it to be a brain injury or similar?.

ShinyButtons Thu 23-Jan-20 00:35:08

The same sort of thing happened to me when my Mum died. I went from being very average at my job and not meeting my sales targets (because my job wasn't sales and I hated trying to sell stuff that people didn't want or need) all of a sudden I was brilliant at my job and exceeded every target, mainly because I didn't care anymore if the people I was upselling to wanted or needed what I wanted them to have and because I was a bit numb at the time I no longer cared if they shouted or told me fuck off if they didn't want my offerings.

It was the most successful and productive year of my life, I felt like life was short so I tried to cram in as much possible which was greatly helped with the pay rise I got for suddenly being successful at work.

The effect gradually wore off over time and although I still think life is short and there's a lot I still want to do and achieve I now go about it in a more laid back way.

I also think I'm quite detacted and maybe a bit cold or as my sister says, harsh. I find it very easy to make logical decisions with no emotion now and no longer fall for bullshit sob stories at work. Luckily I do still have empathy and sympathy for people that are genuinely having a tough time, I'm not a completely heartless bitch. I'm just no long a soft pushover.

CannotDestroy Thu 23-Jan-20 00:44:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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