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I was a really anxious kid. I picked up alot of my Mom's fears and terrors about "the outside world" and it's people, even though part of my young self knew she was irrational (paranoid schizophrenic, untreated). The first thing I used to alter reality was sniffing lighter fluid. 19 cents a can and a short alteration, but it worked. I was an escape artist from first grade on. I skipped, hid from the school bus, anything I could think of to not deal with school. I only knew I hid b/cuz school made me nervous and there was shame about being poor and mainly felt incredibly flawed. This came from lotsa types of abuse, I think.

Fast forward to my first pot experience..age 13. My brother was shipping his things home ahead from the military..Guam to San Francisco, to Ohio. There were no boundaries at our house so of course we opened his stuff. I found a lid of clean reddish brown something, got my sis in on it, and we smoked and smoked till it was almost all gone. Turns out to be Thai-soaked in opium-stuff. Needless to say nothing really held a candle pot-wise from then on. But some good stuff came through ourr area and I couldn't get enough of smoking and drinking by then.

Kicked out of High school before I was 16, s'posed to to Youth Corps. Evaded it as per usual and contnued to party but then my Dad passed away. I had been trying to help with the care he needed daily at home..hungover..starting to get some physical withdrawl but I blew it off.

Next couple years my Mom clung to me and I always tried to keep a wall up (so afraid of her illness) but to be loving regardless of what all had gone on in childhood with her. She was homeless, I had a girlfriend a job pumping gas, and an apartment. So she wanted me to drive her around and find her a place to live and help her pay for it etc..or live with me!

I had been drinking to oblivion every other day for about 4 years by this time. Doing much hash and pot, pain pills I stole, and two acid incidents, orange sunshine. What's weird is that smoking Angel Dust was more intense than the acid. People started telling me things I had done, places I'd been, and I could'nt recall. More often than a few incidents in my earlier drinking career. One evening in May of 1977 (see you don't 4get your first DP event..or at least your first recollection of one)

I went to a fast food place w/my girlfriend (whose ex-husband had been following me, put sugar in my gas tank, ruining the engine, hired trash people to jump out from bushes with pipes to take to my head, etc..I was dumb and naive, I'd never had an enemy in my life) This was when you pushed a button, and a car hop brought out the food. I had no appetite but thought I "should" eat. I'm 5'8 and weighed maybe 125 lbs.

Suddenly I looked at my girlfriend talking and could not tell what she was saying or if I was hearing it from somewhere else. I felt a horrible rush of adrenaline, dizzy, blurred vision, and I told her we have GOT to leave right now. Drove like Nascar to the apartment, put car in park, fell out and shook like an earhtquake uncontrollably. I would be told a year later I was in DT's and should have been in a hospital.

I tried to trudge on but I had the DP bug and started getting agoraphobic, and I defintitely didn't ride in car wih anybody after that If I could help it. I made the association that nobody could ever see me fall apart like that, ever again, so I would drive alone thank ya very much. (I still ride alone an want to get over this)

I don't know much about the next few years but I continued to try to change, and my world got smaller from the phobia. All sorts of accomodations I made to live somewhat "normally" and stay out of the place I feared the most---a mental hospital.. I was convinced I had what Mom had.

Got sober in '83...ppl kept saying all that fear will go away etc etc..well It didn't. I'd have good times and other times I was paralyzed with DP and anxiety. I got a Psychiatrist and therapist in 1992. They gave me low doses of mellarill at an alkie clinic a couple years b-4 this, b//cuz I would go so many days with out sleep. They didn't call it an antii-psychoticb/cuz they knew I'd run and not take it. It is used for sleep I finally came to see, but oh what a nasty ass drug.

Fast forward to the mid 90's and all the tricyclics..nothing worked for my diagnoses, which at the time were, late stage alcoholism in remission, major depressive illness, dysthymia, anxiety reaction and PTSD.
Docs used Buspar with alkies back then for fear of re-addiction to something benzo, but Buspar, no good for me. I got worse. Never picked up a drink thru all of that and nothing to get high on. I kept trying to fit in and be ok and trust God.

Had finished High school w/ GED and had an Assoc. in Business, but could not keep jobs. I would stress about mistakes and finally just resign. I got a life chagning job in 1989 and managed for 7+ years to keep it, love it, and be one f the best. I actually bought a home, took care of Mom in her illnesses which had physical aspects now of a serious nature, and ad the same g/friend 6 years. Then I broke down

I had been in therapy with a lady who s'posedly specialized in childhood trauma? She and I worked together for 3 years and I got worse. She used to make sexual comments then say she didn't recall saying. I was tring to be real, but I adored her and she finally said she loved me too. We went underground in a sexual/romantic relationship for two and a half yrs beyond the 3 yrs "therapy"...turned out I was not the "special case"..she was being sued by someone else who she exploited, a female patient. So I was a mess, and got a therapiist, a real one---

---and I wound up in a 2 year litigation b/cuz I had lost my career and sanity keeping this secret for the sake of her career. I sacrificed my self and health b/cuz she was my Higher Power. I never told anybody in AA except two ppl. It all came out later. I got a settlement after they tried to decimate me--her insurance lawyers--just doing their job. The settlement wasnt even what I used to earn in year. Over the next year my Mom died, my sister went nuts, and my family splintered, hither and yon....I love and miss them.

I sold the house, the motorcycle, the other car, took my dog and moved to a rental one bedroom house, been sober, been on Remeron and Klonopin since about 1998, trying to finish auto tech school. I've had 3 arthritis and neuro surgeries past 3 years. I want to be able to work and--well, maybe not have EXACTLY what I had...the material stuff is rather unimportant comapred to trying to get a permanent handle on depersonalization, panic attacks, from stress and anxiety.
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