Monthly Archives: December 2012

triggering

Trying to figure what it is about me that tries to trigger myself,  not so that I will cut, but because I need that feeling to come and go.  I watch movies with a very prominent self-injury or abuse component to them.  I listen to music that  is at once triggering and comforting.  I battle with myself about reaching out.  I want to give voice to all the dysfunction in my head, but I’m afraid of the consequences.  I want to let people in, but I’m scared.  So I crave that feeling to have a definite end to it with the change in song or the end of the movie.  It gives the wave of emotion a forced, set path to follow.  It gives me somewhat of a sense of control; and I desperately need that when I start to feel out of control.

I had written earlier that I was kicking myself for not taking the opportunity to talk earlier on today.   I still am.  I toy with calling back and trying to talk to her again.  I toy with calling a hotline and being upfront that I am not suicidal, but I want to self-harm.  I’m scared because I don’t know what that will bring from a stranger in a new state.  I just know I need to reach out some more and I need more support than I can give myself.  I could talk to my wife more, but I don’t want to scare her.  I could talk to my mom, but the same is true… I need someone to talk to that will have a certain level of detachment that can hear me out… I need someone that is strong enough to listen to what I have to say and hear it all, and tell me how fucked-up I am…  And I don’t want to end up in the hospital… But I’m afraid that the knee-jerk reaction would be to send me there.  It’s a holiday, I don’t want to waste their time…  and I really just want someone I can take the risk of talking to without having to see the disgust on their face and the horror in their eyes as I spill the contents of my head… I don’t want them to see me either.  I don’t want them to notice the smile play across my lips at the thought of hurting myself and the thought of the relief it would bring, even if just for a moment, since shame and guilt set in pretty much immediately after I realize that someone may find out… and think of how messed-up I am…  But the thoughts are supremely comforting, even if the act would bring ridiculous consequences that I know I don’t want or need…


I guess I was on the right track…

Managed to talk to my old therapist a bit today.  She said that my symptoms fit the diagnosis of Dissociative Disorder NOS.  The split is there,  but not full-fledged people.  And I have a very difficult time connecting the two sides when I’m in either (hence this blog).  It’s more pronounced here.  It’s a physical feeling when I switch from one to the other.  It’s a feeling of falling through ice into freezing water when I get to the “dark” side (strangely comforting, not necessarily a panic, but a relief because I know what comes next); and the feeling of patching a wall when I come back here.  It’s relatively sudden (a matter of minutes) and I lose touch with what was before… it’s a weird feeling,  and quite strong since I moved back to where I grew up.  Someone plugged in the amp… I don’t want it to progress like it has been.   That would lead to some scary shit…

I keep trying to reach out,  but fear prevents me from opening up too much… I’ve had the chance again today,  but when asked that crucial question,  I said no.  I am not suicidal,  but I do sometimes want to hurt myself… not to die,  but to let the emotion bleed out with the injury… Only I’m afraid if I said that, they would be obligated to send me to the emergency room… because I said I want to hurt myself… so they are legally obligated to act on that… and it’s nowhere near what I want to do, but they may get sued, so I would be sent to sit in an er waiting room for hours on end just to try to convince them that I will not hurt myself… I’ve played that game before because most places don’t understand self-injury even though it’s become a hot-button topic in the last decade or so.  Legalities and all… and I don’t know the total scope of the laws in this state that could get me committed against my will.  I know it is fairly easy to get at least a 72-hour hold by anyone that suspects you to be even a remote danger to yourself… self-injury would fall under that category to someone who is not familiar with it’s stress-release capabilities…  So I stay quiet…  and I fight it on my own hoping that the dissociation won’t get as bad as it was last year when I “spaced out” for 2 days and ended up being hospitalized…


How to make a difference

Do you ever just sit and wonder…? every choice we make,  even the smallest decision can take us miles off our course,  or miles down in the direction we want to go.  How often do we ponder the meaning of the choices we make? Leaving a moment early or late can make the difference between getting where we are going safely or winding up in a car accident… making a call and asking for a break vs never making it out of the house… it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.   The smile to the lost soul, the wave to the lonely old lady… stepping over the bug instead of on it… all those things can save a life…


Healthcare issues

I thought mental health services were crappy in my old state, but they were amazing compared to here. It’s really sad… and I am getting mixed messages from the insurance company. I have received a ton of paperwork from them, and they sent me some confirmations, but I don’t think I actually have any insurance… I was hoping I could log in on the internet and miraculously find my account number so I could find a therapist finally… no such luck. and it’s a holiday, so I have no hope of talking to anyone for another 4 days or so… I wish the big box store hadn’t screwed over my wife… maybe we would be in a better space right now (I know we would be…) so frustrated…


why…

is it so fucking hard to just find someone professional to talk to?! 2 crisis lines that have since been disconnected, 3 places that are not taking new clients or you have to be on state to get in… UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’m not suicidal.  I don’t feel the need to call a suicide hotline just so I can talk to someone and not fall apart in the next few days.  That’s really all I want, just to talk to someone… why is that too much to ask?


This is that point

Where I need to remember the light side… the chaos is fast and furious in my head. .. not really sure how to slow it down…

I pull out my analytical side to combat the chaos, but it doesn’t work that well. The dissociation of one from the other is huge… the rift can be so severe… my panic mode is kicking in, and the other side of me desperately tries to take the reins to keep me on track… No falling apart. Patchwork going on to cover the cracks and keep things in check for another few hours. It’s amazing what our brains can do to to keep us functioning when we fear the outcome of our current trajectory…

Maybe I am DID in some respects, just not as disconnected with fully formed personalities… maybe I’m just more integrated than the average DID person. The change can come on so fast in the way my brain thinks. The analytical, disconnected side can take over to hold things together until the last possible moment… there definitely are two very distinct sides to me… this one steps in and calms me down when I’m about to break… it’s the more adult, mature side that needs to be proper and collected at all times. The other side feels more frazzled and fragile… and smaller. She feels more vulnerable and young… is that where Samantha Jane went?

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It just hit me: I was never young. Let me clarify that… when asked about my inner child, there is no young version of me that I identify with… my inner child was always Samantha Jane (in that he or she was always 6 or younger). When my therapist asked me where the young me was, I mentally freaked and could not identify with a young me. All memories carry with them varying degrees of dissociation, but never have I been able to connect my name with a younger me… the image in my head of a young me is also very different than the actual me… it’s weird and I don’t think I’m explaining it well… I was there watching, but never really fully part of the memories… most of them any way. The person I am today for most of the time is far from that terrified little girl. That part never integrated…


I don’t have a good title for this

I’m feeling really overwhelmed by all this.  I don’t know what to do next,  but at least that clinician calling me so many times with different options made me feel a bit better… maybe I’m not so worthless afterall. If a perfect stranger cares enough to work so hard to figure out a solution,  there must be some value to me… maybe?

I don’t have my hopes up about the clinic getting back to me any time soon though… just going to have to struggle through this myself for a while and hope I don’t crack along the way…


feeling so defeated…

ever have those times?… It just doesn’t feel like I can make forward strides at this moment… One thing goes really well, and 3 things fall apart… I just don’t know how to change it. I’m only going backwards. It sucks.

I got a call back from one of the clinicians to set me up in their system… turns out that the only clinician that is part of the non-profit piece is a guy… I have trouble enough talking to a female therapist, forget about trying to talk to a guy… The lady that called me back was really nice tho, and she gave me a ton of other options… I totally appreciate that she called back 3 times with different ideas… I just wish I had money so it wouldn’t matter… but I have no job, and even if anyone is calling me back at the moment, my phone is shut off because we didn’t have the cash for the bill… I’m using my mom’s phone to try to find someone to see… All the places I applied to work have my phone number, not hers… This sucks. I just want to ball up and cry and hide from the world. I’m trying so hard not to crack under all this pressure, but I don’t know how well I can keep that up… When I got off the phone with her the first time, my legs ached with the memory of a cut… those aches have just been getting stronger. The part of me that wants to give in is screaming so loud right now…


I really could use someone to talk to… or: connections

there’s so much that goes on in my head that I don’t voice. I need an outlet for it. Even my old T didn’t hear half of what went on. I tried to tell her, but sometimes the words just wouldn’t form. It was a combination of fear, shame, and guilt for indulging the thoughts and “fantasies” that kept me silent. There were many times when I tried to talk, but literally couldn’t… the air was stuck in my throat and words refused to form. My mouth would open, and shut, but nothing would come out, not even a wisp of breath. I can feel that coming on… this time brought on by fear of someone over-reacting. The words don’t even form in my brain; they just fizzle at the synapses before a full thought can be formed to explain the pictures and feelings in my head. I don’t know why I have such a hard time talking… but then again, maybe I do. I’m not sure where it started, when I lost my voice (in the feminist, allegorical use of the term), but it’s been gone a long time. Once in a while I find what it is that I want to say, and once in a while I can make myself heard, but for the most part, I play alone in the scenes in my head. Samantha Jane used to be there… She used to keep me company, but she’s run off now, and I’m left to my own devices. She was a good little stand-in. She always listened, and I could always protect her (I think… at least… that’s my memory of my inner child… it’s the only memory of her I choose to acknowledge at this time). What happened to her? I’m not quite sure. She never looked the same through the years. She was always young, but her face and her hair changed… The one constant in all my years was the woman with the dark, long hair… She always showed up when I needed to be rescued. She always meant that things were coming to a close, and the horrible nightmare would be over. Her face was never really the same, but I always knew she was the same person. Maybe just the same soul… I’ve met her many times in real life… always someone else, but always the same role… the rescuer… she’s always meant an end to whatever the current drama/trauma was… funny how she has always been there since I was a child. Maybe I remember more than I think I do, I just keep it in the back of a dark closet. She was a neighbor, my friend’s mom, my guidance counselor, my teacher, my therapist, a nurse at the hospital, my doctor… That one presence that was in a different person each time, but always the same presence behind her… I miss her in my dreams. She was always infinitely more comforting in my dreams… or maybe that’s just where I choose to remember her that way… She always made sure I was ok… If I try to put a real face to her, I lose it, but I know her when I meet her… Just like I know Samantha Jane is not anywhere near me lately… she skipped town. I miss her, but I can’t feel her. I feel the lady with the dark hair though. Maybe she will visit me tonight in my sleep… I really could use her presence with me right now…

Does anyone know what happens to us when we die? I’m a firm believer in connecting once again with all we have lost… connecting to the world again in a deeper way. I remember that connection from when I was a child. I could close my eyes and feel the earth breathing… I could see the colors floating and the energy flowing… I would hear horses thundering by the house, and my parents would swear it was the highway… but I believed with all my heart that it was the horses that traveled that land before… A large white stallion that would wait under the window, making noise and breathing heavily after his run… Later that week I found a horse shoe in our yard… It was a neighborhood established for a while, with no livestock anywhere near… He was another comforting presence…

Earlier this week, I was feeling really sad and indulging that sadness when, all of a sudden, the scent of her perfume was in the air… She’s been gone for ages, but she was there at that moment. They are both here… my mom says she smells cigarette smoke in the house… no one smokes, but he used to… Right after she died (3 years after), I moved here and the dog would play fetch with someone, but I was the only one in the house… she would perk up as if being called, and run over to another spot, wag her tail, and lay down as if she was getting a tummy rub… I did not imagine it…


torn

2:45pm – one of the therapists that I had contacted prior to my move was supposed to call today to get me into the system at a non-profit associated with her clinic… she did not.  I know she is likely busy with her actual clients and her life, but please don’t give me a specific time that you say you will call me and then not do it.  it makes me anxious and brings back all sorts of crap… I had simply asked her for the name and number to the clinic… she gave me the name, but not the number, and I can’t find their number online.  she also said she would call me this morning to set me up… I know I’m not at the breaking point, and this is not an emergency (far from it) but I would like to know I have something in place to help me keep from ever getting to the breaking point.  holidays are tough, for a lot of people.  they are triggering and highly charged with all sorts of emotions.  please don’t leave me in the dark at this time… I was quite anxious making the call to her in the first place to see about finding someone else with this move.  the thought of having to trust a whole other person is scary.  the thought of having to build up a therapeutic relationship is scary.  I just want to get it started so I can alleviate at least that bit of anxiety from my life.  is that too much to ask? am i being too pushy? too needy? am I over-reacting? I don’t want to call her because I don’t want to bother her.  I know I’m not her client, and at this point won’t be.  I know I have no priority there.  So I don’t want to be over-bearing… I just don’t want to crash either.  Things come up, and I package them away neatly once again, but I wouldn’t mind help in that department… and I really just want the anxiety of getting this all started to be behind me… I want someone I can talk to about all those thoughts in my head who won’t over-react and won’t get all worked up over just thoughts that come and go… and memories…

::sigh:: to steal a line from an Ani Difranco song: “the English translation is…”

I’m just anxious and unsure of where to turn to next… I could call my old therapist, she left that option on the table.  but again, I don’t want to bother her.  I don’t like bothering people.  I don’t like coming off as too needy… I am terrified of pushing people away… I don’t want to do that.  I don’t want them mad at me or frustrated with me.  I just want to be quietly liked…

It’s hard to hear my wife get texts and calls from friends and family… It reminds me again and again that I am not memorable. I don’t have very many friends, and even those people want to forget me… It’s hard to battle these negative ideas when I have no real strength to push them away and refute them… and I don’t see any evidence to the contrary in front of me… Either I chose not to see it, or it’s not there, but I can’t grasp it when I start to feel so doubtful of myself.  All the old, negative voices and mantras come back, screaming in my ears.  Everything I thought of myself growing up (because I can easily recall so much of the fears and doubts) comes flooding back, and it takes everything I have not to get carried away by it.  I start to think that people only talk to me out of obligation… they only see me when they want to (like the ghost girl in the series we just started watching)… I could easily disappear and very few would notice…

and there it is again, that screaming voice of doubt… I need to find a good way to drown it all out… music maybe, the park, nature… I need something positive to take it’s place…

5:22pm – still spinning.  trying to motivate to find a job and a volunteer opportunity, but it goes as fast as it hits me… I found the contact info for that clinic she told me about, so I sent an email.  I’m hoping they call me back sooner rather than later… You know that feeling you get when you know things are tipping in the wrong direction, but they haven’t fallen yet?  I have that feeling… I don’t know how far things will fall if I don’t figure it out, but I know they will fall to some degree.  I can’t afford the “craziness” of the past, so I need to keep it all together and fight like hell to do so.

9:00pm – the anxiety is building.  little tingles are playing under the scars… I need to keep my head above water for this.  No losing it here… I think I’m making it worse in my head, but I don’t really know how to stop it.  Does everyone experience the same disconnect of intellect and “head” when things start to crack?  Intellectually I know SO much about how to keep this all at bay, but emotionally, that’s a whole different story.  Maybe I should just call my old therapist to get some support until I can find someone new…


the legitemacy of tears

“I know I need to cry… but I don’t have a reason.”

“You do have a reason! We are far away from everyone we love, except your mother.  We have no jobs, no money, and it’s Christmas…”

Why, despite knowing better, can I not let myself cry without “reason”?  Why do I feel like I have to… I don’t know… like I can’t justify being sad without something huge and “legitimate” to be sad about… I can’t just have a bad day or a bad moment.  I can’t just cry.  I need to justify every emotion, every tear… I know better, intellectually.  I know that people can just cry without real reason.  I encourage my clients to cry when they feel like it… but I can’t seem to do that for myself.  How can I ask of others what I can’t (won’t) do myself?


Merry Christmas

No tree,  no decorations,  no presents.  But being with people I love,  so that makes up for it. I truely hate this time of year.  I can’t wait till it’s all over with.  Then life can go back to the normal stresses without the added crap brought up by all this… peace to all…


Flashback or spirits?

I was sitting at the computer, feeling down and sad, wanting to cry.  All of a sudden the air smells like my aunt’s perfume… I know we do not have it in the house anymore, not even anything that smells like it… the part of me that believes our loved ones are with us even after they die jumps to it being her here… my mom had been smelling cigarette smoke in the house lately.  None of us smoke, but my uncle used to.  We live in their house now. They have been gone for 18 years… my heart believes it’s them… my head says it’s a flashback brought on by the intensity of the emotions from being back here,  and from the season.  I prefer to go with my heart…


i feel like i should write something…

…but i have no idea what to write. i hate the holidays. they were never happy for me. they always meant forced get-togethers that ended in vicious fights… It’s been better since I moved out, and better still since I met my wife, but the old days haunt me this year. Being back home is weird. The memories are around most corners… and the lack of distractions facilitates more thinking. I’ve been trying to get out of the house. I’ve been trying to keep occupied. It works for the most part. I go window shopping, I occupy myself with my hobbies… I try not to think.

It’s been weird not having a therapist. I had made contact with one before the move so I would have someone to touch base with once I got here, but finances have prevented me from following through.

What is it about the holidays that brings back all this crap…?  I guess the fact that they’ve commercialized the hell out of it doesn’t help… nor does the fact that they start throwing Christmas at you in August… There’s no way to escape it.  They start triggering memories before the end of the summer, and they don’t let it up until after all the returns have happened.  The movies, the music, the religion… it all makes me cringe.  I am scrooge around the holidays… I don’t want others to not enjoy it, but I want nothing to do with it all.  I like the thought of giving to others, but I do that anyways…

The one good thing Catholic school taught me: give to others until you have nothing left to give, then find it in yourself to give more… be it monetary or emotional, I give until I’m in the negatives… It doesn’t work out all that well in practicality tho.  If you have nothing left for yourself, it’s hard to give to others.  It’s hard to smile when you are a void… It’s hard.

It’s hard to miss people… losses suck.  This time of year always reminds me of them.  This year we are surrounded by images, thoughts, and well-wishes to those effected by the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings… I’m glad I knew no one in the school at the time, but I wonder how their families are coping now.  I think of those people and my heart breaks… and I feel somewhat selfish in that heartbreak.  I’m not really crying for them (tho my empathy for them triggers the tears) so much as I cry for all my losses. That’s one thing I was never good at.  Processing loss is something that eludes me.  My greatest losses happened more than a decade ago.  Any little thing brings them up though.  Big things really bring them up.  The Newtown shootings were a big thing… I feel particularly connected because… well, because I do.  It hit too close to home.  It makes me cry every time I see something about it, and the news is flooded with it all still.  Facebook posts ask you to pray for the victims and families.   Gun-control is a hotly debated topic.  When it’s not a blurb directly about Newtown, it’s a debate about how to fix things like that from ever happening again… How about talking about mental health?  How about making it accessible and not stigmatized?  How about… how about help?

I keep this anonymous because I don’t want my family and friends identified.  But I also don’t want more of those looks than I already get.  I have a bunch of things stacked against me when it comes to judgments and hate.  I don’t want to add a full-disclosure to those very obvious ones.  I especially don’t want it now, when mental health issues are brought into the limelight by one very unbalanced and sick individual’s horrid actions.  It’s tough that I still have very visible scars on my arms.  I don’t want to have to explain that away whenever any little kid asks (they have no filter) or whenever any adult looks at me with either disgust or pity after seeing my arm.  I’m glad most everyone says nothing.  It makes it easier to forget about that point in life… even if for just a few moments.

Why is it that I have such a fog around so much of my life, but I can’t forget the trauma totally?  Why does that have to come back?  I know the psychological answer, but I want to know the purpose of it in our lives… Aside of the evolutionary benefits of remembering dangerous situations so we can avoid them, how does remembering the actual event, and not necessarily what lead up to it, help us survive?  It does just the opposite.  It takes away your will to see another day.  It makes you live in darkness and eventually crave fading away.  So how does that help the species as a whole?  What scientific purpose does it serve?  What survival purpose does it serve?  How does it help humans live longer as a collective?


Knee-jerk reactions infuriate me…

I know that sounds quite the double-standard, but I need to vent.

Please keep our public schools religion-free.  If you want your religion to be the cornerstone of your education,  go to a religious school that fits with your beliefs and enroll your children there.  Do not force my child to fit into your niche. Do not tell me your god needs to be brought back into every school.  Not everyone believes in your god.  Forcing them to learn about it and preach it every day will not make anything better.  It will make those who believe feel stronger in their beliefs,  yes,  but it will alienate and cause conflict with those that do not.  Instead of bringing your god back into classrooms,  lets bring tolerance,  peace,  and love back.  Lets teach our kids that bullying for any reason is not ok. Lets teach them to work together instead of one-upping eachother… that is what I want thought to my children in schools, not that one god is better than the next.


That doubt no one ever talks about…

Disclaimer: this may be triggering. Use caution when reading. I only write this in hopes that it may help someone.
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No one ever talks about the doubt that bursts onto the scene in the moment between making the decision to actively take your life, and the moment you actually try it.  That moment when FEAR creeps in, but you made the commitment (to yourself) to go through with it. So you hunker down and hug your teddy bear tight as the music plays through your headphones… you fight the fear as you’re shaking in your boots. This is not really what you want all of a sudden… but it’s too late, even if only in your head…

Then you wake up the next evening as if nothing ever happened. You have momentarily forgotten the hell that is your life, and you smile and laugh with concerned friends and family, oblivious to what you just narrowly missed. You get confused about why you can’t move your arms and legs too far (they are strapped to the bed). As the hours of consciousness wear on, the memories slowly seep through the mud. You remember what you tried, and you get angry that it didn’t work. The pain returns. Only this time, there is no escape. You are trapped, physically. There is no release… you forget that moment of fear and doubt until years later… you just know you failed yet again.


Frazzled

My brain is at once mush and racing.  I want to sleep, but I can’t close my eyes.  My head fluctuates between heartbreak and anxiety.  The events of today hit close to my heart.  It’s overwhelming and tears come to my eyes whenever I think of it… and it angers me when everyone automatically jumps to more governmental control… I think we need to make mental health treatment more accessible.  It needs to cater to people not only once they break,  but also “preventative medicine”…  I remember fighting to gain access to treatment that was more intensive but still trying to maintain a full time job. If I was an addict in the traditional sense, I would have had the opportunity to go to an evening program. I would have been able to keep up my treatment while not disrupting my daily life. I had to make a choice: minister to my mental health, or keep myself afloat financially and maintain my home. If I had an addiction, I would not have to make that difficult decision.

I fell through the cracks until I cracked. I maintained myself with weekly therapy until it became too much. I was unable to keep up the facade. I am not totally sure what happened that first time, but I found myself at the emergency room afraid I was going to hurt myself beyond repair… a few weeks after my initial weekend stint on the psych unit, I woke up (several times) in the ICU. The previous night, I had decided to kill myself, and made a relatively decent attempt. I spent the next week locked up. They discharged me with a hope to continue more intensive treatment. I did not follow through. There was no inquiry to my lack of appearance at the program. I had made a serious attempt on my life just over a week ago, and I was free to go. I saw my therapist once a week, and continued my daily grind. I was adept at smiling and pretending everything was hunky-dory while inside I was trying desperately to make sand fill up a wire frame… I fell apart again a few short weeks later. I fell through the cracks inside myself and in the system… mind you I was never as messed up as I was on my meds, but that is also another story…


Little reminders

At the dog park the other day, a kid commented on my scars… “you’re dog really bit up your arm huh?” i simply nodded and mumbled a “oh, yeah…” as I stuffed my arm against my side.  yeah… dog… it suddenly reminded me of all the shame that goes along with cutting.  I haven’t cut in over a year, and not on my arm in about 10 years, but the shame is there.  How can anyone ever see this as attention-seeking?  Especially professionals… they should know that this isn’t for attention.  I cringe at the memory of the time the lead pyschiatrist at a hospital said: “You want attention? I’ll give you attention!” and admitted me for 2 weeks… he was a dick.  he didn’t know what he was talking about, nor did he care to know anything about his patients… It’s sad when “helping” professionals get burnt out and we all suffer for it…


Remembering to breathe

Trying to not let the tension in the air get to me.  It’s difficult.  I forgot how negative of an environment this was… she’s always angry at something,  and the bad energy rubs off on everyone. Just have to remember to breathe.  It’s temporary and it will all be for the better.  There is a huge adjustment.  It doesn’t help that the wife is struggling with this change. Just keep breathing…