Monthly Archives: September 2013

little shards of triggers scattered about the “maybe” garden, watch your step… **tiggers**

wishing therapy was tomorrow and not Tuesday… it feels so far away, though I am not sure what I hope to get out of it.  Mental quiet? or a place to tie up the loose ends left unfurled from Friday? maybe put things back into their neat little boxes in the back of my emotional closet?  Or maybe it’s all of the above, as well as a validation again that shit will fall apart before it gets better.

Maybe it’s that I want to make my pictures come true, but that would be a poor choice, so I need to tell someone about it.  Maybe it’s that I need to find someone who is not wrapped up in all that is daily life.  Maybe I just need a safe place to rest while I catch my breath from all this running to escape my head.  Her office is a quiet place.  As hectic as emotions can get in there, it still feels safe to go there in that room.  It’s dim and comfortable and safe… It reminds SJ of her closet.  Or maybe that’s just how we see a safe place: dark and quiet and soft.  She was summoned a week ago, and I think she now feels safe enough to come out, but only there.  She’s so fucking sad.  And the other is desperate.  And it feels all separate, but all together at one time.  The compartments only meld sometimes.  The wall cracks, or the screens are down, or the ice melts, or whatever you want to call it, but it only happens sometimes.  I don’t want to be trapped back there, but it’s nice to have some congruence between the conscious and unconscious.   There really is a lot that goes on behind the scenes all the time, but I only ever know the details when I’m let in… kinda like peeking behind a heavy curtain – you could hear the muffled conversations before, but now you see the whole stage and know what’s really happening.

Why is it that music has to reflect the inside?  It enhances the experience; brings a beginning, middle, and end.  It allows the walls to disappear for a while.  Everything has its own soundtrack though it can change over time and slight shifts in mood.  Why is it that music depicting situations reminiscent of the past bring comfort, even when it’s not necessarily a comforting song?  What is it about the music and lyrical combinations that lull the panic?  Why does a song about abuse, or self harm, or suicide, or rape bring such relief to the chaos?  The only thing I can think of is the definite course of the song – there’s no threat of being lost in it forever because the song always comes to an end; there’s always an out.  Real life is not like that.  Real emotions are not like that.  They float and coalesce around you.  They take over and drown you. Music gives it all an end.  But that doesn’t explain why those types of songs are comforting.  I get that they keep things from lasting, but why go with enhancing the emotions in the first place?  Is it relating to the music?

Did I ever mention that, while growing up, I always imagined myself with an abusive military husband?  I don’t know where the image came from, it was just always there.  I would fantasize about having the crap beaten out of me by my husband.  He was always in uniform, and we were always on some military base.  I always just took the beatings,  sick fantasies.  Fantasies are supposed to be positive.  Mine never were, just a bunch of daydreaming about abuse (I used to call them “daymares”).  No one ever helped in the fantasies.  It was just what I deserved in them.  Maybe being military gave my brain more of an excuse to have him be so abusive?  And it was always a fantasy of being married to a man, though I never felt love for whomever he was… I think even then I knew I was gay, just didn’t really acknowledge that to myself (the times I can remember playing house as a kid, there was never a husband, just “friends” living together and the husbands were always gone away or simply non-existent – dependent on the other girl’s preferences).

I have other “daymares” these days… they suck equally badly, though differently. Again, no real relief in a timely manner (if at all).  I don’t consciously fall into them these days, but they come up if my mind wanders.  They are not flashbacks, because none of them have actually happened, but more like very vivid daydreams.  Flashbacks happen too, but they are more emotional these last few months (they have tamed themselves in visual and auditory content, but not at all on the emotional front). Wait.  (in Gru’s voice) Liiiight-bulb!  THAT’s what went on today!  I thought it was all out of no-where, but I’m pretty sure it all connects to the past in a huge way.  When I explained it to L earlier, I told her it was just all the stuff piling up. It really was.  Gotta love finding explanations for seemingly trigger-less things.  I just have to figure out what the triggers to it were (most likely the mounting feelings of inadequacy, frustration, depression, and resentments).  The image of huge iron bars on all the windows and doors had come up earlier in the week, and intensified after therapy on Friday.  Maybe knowing that will dampen the effects for the rest of the night.  And maybe it will help quell the self-harm urges (the desire to see blood is insanely intense today… lots of it.  The desire  to have it almost all drain out is very prevalent, but not acting on any of it).  The desire to be high is also really strong.  I wish I had access to hallucinogenic herbs, or at least quality pot… I miss the feeling it gave.  I miss the floating and detachment and happiness (it felt so genuine and un-tethered to the depression).  They wonder why so many mental health issues run comorbid with substance use/abuse… that stuff works better than any meds they provide (and some have fewer side effects).

Fuck, all the emotions and urges are a huge jumble again.  I had hoped my realization that it is all an emotional flashback would help lessen the blow.  It did for about 5 minutes.  Everything’s back now.  I wish I had called out of volunteering for tomorrow.  I’m not sure I will be in the head-space to be useful.  Generally, when the walls crumble and the awareness blends, I become wholly useless.

Anyway, speaking of volunteering, I should try to sleep so I can pretend to be useful tomorrow… and maybe it will make the day go faster so I can get to my appointment on Tuesday already.  I was going to just show her this entry, but I’m not totally sure I want to do that now… We will see.

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Depression sucks

Like you needed me to tell you that…
But anyway, today was a mess.  I got angry over stupid things that had not a lot to do with the moment.  I lashed out.  I wanted to cry (still do). There’s nothing that helps these crazy mood swings.  I hate them.

I’m frustrated with commitments and responsibilities (home and outside). I don’t want to do anything; I’d much rather hole myself up and hide away from the world.  Even as I write this, tears threaten to erupt from my eyes. There’s no reason for them; I just feel like crying.  I really hate crying.  Stray tears escape here and there, but actual, real crying sucks. I can’t breathe when my sinuses get so congested. And I can rarely really cry in front of another human being. Crying in front of others brings shame and fear and drama. No reason for crying is ever accepted as valid.  Tears are never welcome (and Skeletor will kill you).  Problems are never big enough to wear you down, because others have lived with them for years, and they have not broken like you have.  Nothing should ever be too much or overwhelming. Nothing should ever bring about tears or frustration.  It’s an awesome [sarcasm sign] double standard that you have always lived with.  You know it well.

There’s never an excuse for being weak or showing any signs of weakness (crying, depression, anger, frustration, despair, hopelessness).  You are certainly never allowed to take anything personally (translate that to being hurt by hurtful words, actions,  and sentiments). Anorexia and disordered eating are not allowed, but highly idealized.  Other negative coping skills are equally forbidden (though less idealized).  Heaven forbid you suggest something to another that has been dictated upon you by that other.  Never ask for anything that takes work (or attention, or effort, or thought) that is not already being expended.  Never suggest anything that may put another out, but be prepared to have to work like hell to keep others happy.  Remember: you are worth/worthy of nothing; they are worth/worthy of everything. You know nothing (forget that you have the education) but others know everything (again, note appropriate – or lack-there-of – education)…
Funny how loud and present these distorted lessons can be when everything internally is shot to shit.  Gotta love disordered f.o.o…


resentments

i’m starting to resent my volunteer job. As much as I love it while I’m there, the thought of going there brings up anxiety and frustration. I don’t want to have to be “on” or together or anything resembling human and social. I’m beginning to resent all of our commitments that involve being social… I don’t know what happened. I like hanging out with the very few friends we have down here, but that’s about it. I don’t want to go back to ASL, I don’t want to have to volunteer anymore, I don’t want to have to make plans. Yes, they are nice to have something to look forward to, but lately they just cause stress.
I feel bad about this though. I know my wife wants to keep doing them, I know I should have outside commitments. I know I shouldn’t let the depression get to me. It’s weird too, because I don’t necessarily feel depressed, but the behaviors point to depression, and the constant desire to cry tells me I’m more on the depressed side of things… Someone mentioned bipolar again to me. I still don’t sit well with this label, but it is fitting the moment in a way. Not so much a mania, but maybe a hypomania followed by extreme depression. I never did understand how there could be a bipolar characterized by only depressive episodes, but maybe that’s what this is? Maybe I’ll ask De’s thoughts on it next week.


today – therapy & the beach

Today’s session with De was interesting. I didn’t quite talk about all of the stuff I wanted to talk about, but we did spend the session on something really important. She helped normalize some of the things I have been stressing over. She also said it was important to “honor where [I’m] at” before trying to get past it. I told her I felt like I had been stuck here forever, but she reminded me that things like that take time to “get over” and there have been a lot of recent triggers that are just that: triggers. They don;t necessarily have to come from some known place, but can be something as simple as a smell or a phrase. This past week, “triggers” had been all around, so it’s understandable that I would be falling back into a more vulnerable space. She also reminded me that what I had been worried about was inherently a vulnerable position, but especially so because of my history. I guess I see that, but I’m still frustrated by it. I wish I could make it all better already. I feel like I need to do this for not only myself, but also the others around me. So what that the house is the same and the room is the same and a lot of the people are the same… I should be habituated by now. We’ve been here for 10 months already, the triggers should not be as “loud” as they are… De reminded me that one huge factor had not been present the whole time (G), and that it changes things. She also wanted me to remember that everyone deals with things on their own time. Others may think I should be “over it” but they are not in my head… I guess she’s right. I just can’t help but feel pressure from them (either created by me or actually there, I’m not quite sure) to be better already.

As I talked about all this stuff with her, I proceeded to peel the color off my coffee mug. She mentioned that it seemed easier for me to talk about emotions if I had some kind of distraction (art, peeling the mug). Yeah. It is. A measure of dissociation is good to help me skim the surface of the emotions without getting lost in them. At least, it’s working most of the time.

We set another appointment for Tuesday. I’m glad she just kinda went with offering it, because I don;t think I would have done too hot waiting for a whole week, but I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to ask for it.

After therapy, I didn’t really want to be home. Some days (especially if they are emotionally charged) it feels like there are huge iron bars on the windows and doors as if it were a jail cell. It has felt this way since I was a child. L was ok with going out again. I had wanted to hit up the Everglades, but she suggested the beach. We came home long enough to use the bathroom, change, eat, and head out. It was nice to be out there. While I hated the beach growing up, I am totally in love with it now. The water and sky is so relaxing. We played around for a few hours. Most of the time was spent in the water. There were small fish near shore and they scared the crap out of me every time they touched my feet. I took to trying to float most of the time, until one fresh little fish decided it would be fun to swim up my shorts. I would have shot straight out of the water if my feet had something to push off of. I ran right to shore cursing the fish the whole time. I think he won the bet with his fishy friends about who dared to swim up the girl’s shorts… ugh! Anyway, I got some nice pics. I really love the beach. I love the water the most. Tomorrow will probably be the Everglades though… Nature is definitely my Zen place.

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boundaries in therapy, and ASL class 3

I feel like I need to explain myself better, mostly to those in real life.

I think boundaries are really important. I think it’s imperative to maintain a professional relationship with your therapist. I feel this way because I have had times when those boundaries blurred. It was very awkward and weird (tho never yet detrimental to either relationship). When I was studying for my BA, my work study site wanted to give us a chance to see what it was like to be a client. It also needed to guarantee the PhD students a certain amount of experience. I ended up seeing my first therapist there my first year of college. It made for an awkward day when I would pull double-duty as client and as co-worker with my therapist. We would have work-related conversations sandwiching my therapy sessions. It worked out ok in the end, but I think I taxed my therapist quite a bit… It also made therapy awkward if we ever broached a subject on which I had prior knowledge of her feelings. I noticed myself censoring what I would tell her because I knew if she was having a rough day, or she was stressed with something else. I kept certain things unsaid because I knew she felt negatively about it outside of the therapy room (though she never would have given me that impression during a session). I think I missed out on a lot of growth at the time because I was so worried about protecting her or making her comfortable with sessions.
Don’t get me wrong, I would not be here today if my h.s. guidance counselor had not crossed those boundaries with me, but I think it becomes something else as you get older. I think it also takes on a different connotation when there’s unresolved romantic transference within the relationship. An innocuous text can be blown into something it totally isn’t. I know this is my insecurities around L’s intentions based on my past history with infidelity, but it still screams in my head. I’m actually fairly confident that L will not stray and that J will not cross any boundaries. I just don’t know how to tell my head that. I don’t know how to convince my gut to not cringe when L sends J a text that is not strictly about our therapy sessions. I flinch when her first reaction is to tell J about a success immediately when it could stand to wait until our next session. We try to talk about it, but L gets defensive and I get anxious, then defensive myself. It causes a lot of tension. I know we need to talk about it with J, but I don’t know how to bring it up. I am torn between worrying about making L uncomfortable and wanting to get things addressed. It goes back to boundaries… or maybe my insane need to keep everyone happy. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I don’t want to upset anyone, so I don’t want to bring this up in therapy. I don’t like having to ask L not to text J about everything. I don’t want her to be mad or frustrated with me. I don’t want J to impose other boundaries because I think sometimes it’s helpful to be able to tell her things or get info from her during the week.

On another note, I felt so put on the spot in class last night. We had some homework to do in which we had to unscramble some signs. The directions said to EITHER translate then unscramble, OR just unscramble them. I simply unscrambled them, but the teacher did not approve. He wanted us to translate the letters then unscramble. I happened to be the first person he called-out on “doing it wrong” (though half the class did it like L and I did). It hit me so hard that I wanted to leave the class and never return… definitely some stuff I need to address with De.  I think part of the of it came from my history with my father, for whom anything wrong on homework or a test was unacceptable.  It meant hours and hours of studying to make up for the error in learning (or reading as was often the case with me… I tend to skim directions, or not read them at all if I think I know what I’m doing). Anyway, it stirred a lot of crap inside me. It took everything in me not to cry and run out of class.

Well, it has taken me the tried to get this far in this entry. I think I’m going to end it because I don’t really know what else I was going to write for it. The gist of things: I have a huge pile of stuff to talk to De about tomorrow morning.


pulling my hair out

Thursday cannot come fast enough. I have absolutely ZERO desire to volunteer tomorrow. I want to stay in bed. I want to talk to De about stuff that came up in session today, but I didn’t figure out till after. I want G gone. He’s frustrating the hell out of me, or at least the idea of him here is frustrating he hell out of me and putting us all on edge (me, mom, L…). The puppy is being a crazy puppy, and that is accentuated by the stress of G’s presence. I just want to scream and rip my hair out like in one of those stupid cartoons. It feels like all the stupid little annoyances I can mostly deal with on a regular day are impossible to stomach this week. I’m glad I see De again on Friday. I really want to talk to her.
Trust is slowly building there. We are learning to communicate and she is figuring out my often cryptic messages.
The urge to shred myself is there again. I think it’s the added stress of G. But I’m doing good at resisting… Thursday feels so far away… and he comes back again mid-October. ugh! I really need to get the hell out of here for that one, My resolve and strength is wearing very thin.


frustrations

some days I realize just how different my parents and I are.

I requested that my mom not let one of her cats outside until I take her to the vet (one of her paws is significantly swollen). Mom’s first concern: she won’t leave that room to use the litter box. Ok, well, the simple solution to that would be to get a litter box into the room she is in. Then G comments “well, she’s an old cat anyway” ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!! are you f-ing kidding me? she’s got an injury or infection that can be easily treated. I am willing to make this happen. And she’s not all that old. If it were cancer or heart disease, ok, think twice about spending the money. A simple swollen paw (before it becomes a larger issue) is easy and cheap to take care of. And at 13, she’s not all that old for a cat. So f that. UGH! I miss having my own space far away from the constant battles in ideology and common sense. I miss having my own space.

I took the puppy for his first run with the bike. He was a bit freaked out, and had a better hang of it earlier on then he did towards the end of the ride. Almost home, I clipped his back legs with the tire a few times as he stopped paying attention to where he was running, and ran into the bike. Luckily, I wasn’t going too fast, so he didn’t really get hurt, but just startled. It worked to tire him out tho. I took our little dog along also, and he is exhausted as well. Score one for SJ and the bike idea. I just have to make sure they learn to run along side, and not to suddenly stop or pull in any direction. I wish the other 3 were good candidates for bike runs, because it would tire them out and be good exercise for us all.

I see De again tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the venting session. This visit from G is driving me nuts. The repetitive conversations are grating on me (there’s only so many times I can hear about the stupid court case, or how G was screwed with his pension, or how crooked lawyers are). They literally have the same conversation every time, verbatim! And they don’t seem to notice that they repeat themselves exactly the same way each time. Neither are listening to the other based on their comments, questions, and answers, but both go through the same thing at least 5 times a day. I have moved to wearing my headphones nearly all the time in order to not go mad. I really couldn’t stand watching groundhog day more than once… I hate living it.

I need to make it through to Thursday. It’s just 2.5 days away, but I may just run away before that time comes around. Someone shoot me?

So anyway, yeah. Therapy tomorrow and I really need it…