Daily Archives: February 20, 2013

numb in a good way

today was tiring. I finally gave in and emailed my therapist asking him if it was ok to email him something more that I didn’t think I could say. he said ok. he also offered a time to come in and talk about it. I picked today, as I feared I would lose all courage to address the topics I had mentioned (feeling like he would run away if he knew who I really was, having a frank conversation about self injury, my fears/hesitations about his skill set as he is a student).

By the time I actually made it to his office through rush-hour traffic, my anxiety was pretty high and I contemplated turning around several times. I followed through though, as I worried about having to wait until next week (might as well get the anxiety over with so I did not have to sit with it and amplify it for the next 7 days). I was already “spacey” as I got there and fidgeted relentlessly with a worry stone I sometimes still keep with me. I don’t remember all of what we talked about, but I know we covered some grounding (can I tell you I hate grounding techniques, especially when read straight from a book) and actually found something that worked in the moment. I let him do most of the talking, as I struggled to get to what it was that I needed to say. Then, as we were wrapping up (I full expected to be leaving) he threw a safety plan at me. I would have been ok with the concept if he had described it as a safety plan, but he described it as a safety contract (a contract means to me that I will not act on anything without serious repercussions, one of which may be termination of therapy. but that is only because of how I have experienced them in the past). a safety plan simply outlines who to contact in case you are having a rough time… when he pulled out the piece of papaer and started going over it, my head immediately flashed to all the times I have f****d-up and been kicked out of therapy or the program. (actually, it just flashed to straight up paralyzing panic. it took quite a while to be able to figure out exactly what about the situation was causing the panic). he tried grounding again, but something in me was able to muster the courage to interrupt him and help ground in a less formal way (namely get to the root of the panic). i was able to tell him that I had no issue agreeing to all that reaching out stuff if I felt suicidal, but that I had a really difficult time committing to that for thoughts and urges of self injury. he was able to help me express that I really don’t want to die, and that I have a side to me that will protect me if that ever comes up again (the extreme dissociation I had back in 2011 was that side coming out after part of my brain had settled on the concept of peace via death. i became needy and sought help in every way I could think of with people I trusted. ultimately, I got the help, though it was after i started to OD in the dbt group room when the clinician I was talking to stepped out for something… all i remember is her coming back into view of the doorway and being really pissed at me). we briefly touched upon me not being effective and skilled at asking for help the right way. I think he relaxed a little after that conversation. I think I did too… but then he hit upon the hospital resources in the area, and I panicked hard and fast. I went from a 2 to a 99 on the scale of dissociation he was using to check in with me throughout the session. he didn’t notice, so i let him in on the fact that he “lost me.” only he interpreted it as me saying I did not understand his explanation. I just couldn’t figure out how to tell him that I had checked out… for some reason even the vocabulary he had established throughout the session escaped me and I was lost in space. he eventually turned around from the computer (he had been looking up emergency resources) and realized my blank and panicked stare. I think this is when he got a bit panicked too, and tried to find a way to get someone else in the room to explain his thoughts behind the “contract”. I could only manage out a “no” so we were stuck struggling through that really awkward and scary moment. maybe this was when the conversation around the true reason for the panic came up, and not before. I don’t really remember…

anyway, it turned out well in the long run. we both dealt with panic moments, and both came through on the other side a bit wiser… trust is still being worked on, but it never comes easy with me.

now my brain is numb. i am surprised if this came out comprehensible… apologies if I was repetitive or unclear… I will edit again tomorrow, but just felt like I needed to update while it was fresh…