Monthly Archives: November 2013

Another post about rape

I like the way she put this.


ghosts

ever notice how some people are just hard to banish?  they pop up in conversation, in correspondence, in life… they are never the people you want to show up again, but they are the masters at it.

bitch came to dinner tonight.  not in the physical sense, but because we started talking about her.  I’m not quite sure why we manage to resurrect her being whenever we sit together and talk for more than 5 minutes, but we always do.  maybe it’s because we never sit to talk except during holidays.  we reminisce, and it inevitably turns dark.  I think that is because we have very little positive to talk about.  we don’t connect anymore.  we live parallel lives in the same house, but we don’t intersect much.  days are generally spent avoiding any meaningful contact by being absorbed in our electronics.  we don’t talk.  the only time we ever do is if i sit to vent about things going on in my head… we have surface conversations about the dogs and the price of things, and the frustrations of being broke, but we don’t ever connect in a true, deep way.  the only exception to that is the shared memories of traumas past.  I wish it was different.  I wish we still had some common ground to talk about that did not elicit a shudder response.  well, maybe it only elicits a shudder response for L, while mom and I find some solace in knowing that the past sucked.

there’s rarely any happy memories of the past because, quite frankly, I doubt either of us have more than a handful.  we talk about G, we talk about holidays, and birthdays, and K&T with the best of intentions at keeping it light.   the laughs run out quick though.  we find ourselves (unintentionally) reminiscing about a fight or a particularly difficult night.  we try to make it light again, but then bitch pops into our awareness.  L said she is generally not scared of me, except when I talk about my hate for bitch.  that might be because I don’t hate anyone else to that degree.  I could watch her die a slow and painful death, all the while smiling. I can empathize with and rationalize even the most brutal abuser’s actions, but not her’s.  I know she had a difficult upbringing.  I know she likely suffered a lot of abuse as a child.  I know she is most likely paranoid schizophrenic… but I have no compassion for her.

she made our lives living hell.  I will never forgive her for that.  (I know forgiveness is for me, not her, but I’m just not at a place to accomplish that at this time).

maybe one day we will be able to again find happier thoughts to focus on.  maybe one day we will stop dragging ghosts back to the dinner table. maybe one day we will be able to talk about something different, but I think we both need to process the past before that can happen.  so instead we immerse ourselves in technology and television.  we connect on the animals (or butt heads about them).  we tiptoe around each other because the things that need to be said are too heavy to bear all at once.  we censor most interactions, though I think that censoring is trapping both of us (all of us).  maybe me being able to process some of the crap with De will make a difference.  maybe it will be a step towards healing our family dynamics, and we can live as people who actually care about each other not just people who happen to live together… and maybe some day she will find a way to get through the past herself.


Happy Thanksgiving…

I’m trying to embrace the “new traditions” of the holiday as De suggested.  I watched the parade with L.  I am making tofu-turkey, stuffing, and my own cranberry sauce.  I thought of making pie (we have everything needed), but I had 2 beers early, early on, and now I have lost all motivation.  The tofu is baking (almost done) and the rest of my portion of the dinner is ready.  I am trying not to think about how much I hate the holidays… Hoping I can keep the momentum going.

If I what I made turns out ok, I may post it here as a success to keep track of.  We’ll see,


(fear?) of sleeping again

I don;t know if I would say I’m “afraid” of going to sleep again, more like made uncomfortable by the thought of having to go to bed.  I am not sure why this is.  I love my bed, and I feel safe there with my wife.  But the through of heading to bed right now is uncomfortable (and it’s now midnight, so it’s not like I’m trying not to go to bed too early or anything).  I get this way sometimes, and it takes a lot of self-talk to get me there.  I know in writing this, I will be talking myself into cuddling up under the blankets.  I just wish I knew where this unease came from… nothing happened recently to bring it on, it’s just here. Maybe it’s that I get interrupted sleep these days.  I would rather be allowed to sleep peacefully and through the night.  I guess my thought process is somewhere along the lines of “the later I go to sleep, the less I’ll be able to sleep, so if I only get 4 hours uninterrupted, it won’t feel as bad as being woken up every 2 hours for the next 8…”

I dunno.  It’s annoying.


scarification creeps me out…

I know it initially sounds kinda weird coming from someone who has a history of self-injury, but looking at the photo they used to advertise a piece on scarification gave me the creeps.  At first glance, I thought it was an all-red tattoo (huh, really cool-looking).  Then I read the topic of the link (my back started to itch and tingle and shivers ran through my body). Ugh.  I guess that just points back to some of the differences between self-injury and body modifications. For many, self-injury is a release or a punishment or a grounding tool, but the key part of that phrase is self.  Scarification and body mods often require it to be done by another (hopefully competent and professional) person.  It is also generally done for aesthetic purposes, and not for any emotional balancing.  There’s no controlling the pain.  There’s no private ritual to it.  It’s just not done for the same reasons.  And I doubt I could ever get anything more than a few piercings or my tattoos done.  The thought of someone else carving into my flesh, or burning me in a manner to create significant scarring brings me back to one of my recurring nightmares as a little kid… I doubt I could ever get it done without some serious trauma symptoms developing after the fact.  That, and I don’t think I could stand the pain… I feel no pain when I self-injure (if/when I do, I stop as soon as it starts).

One of the most hated questions I get from anyone is: were any of your piercings or tattoos done in lieu of self-injuring?  My answer is always No.  While I can see how it could possibly be a more socially acceptable method to getting a similar endorphin-rush, I have not experienced it ever having the same emotional benefits.  It’s just not even in the same league for me.  My body art is purely for aesthetic purposes (and because my tats all mean something to me).  I never try to hide any of that.  My scars on the other hand, I am embarrassed by.  I hate when anyone notices them. It makes me very uncomfortable to have to show them to anyone or have anyone see them.  At the time that I was actively cutting, I wouldn’t even change in front of my wife. To me, self-injury is a very private and personal thing.  It serves a very specific purpose for which nothing else has been able to take over. Body art will never serve that purpose.


body “happenings” as triggers & other stuff (sorry, needing to write tonight, so it’s long)

Sometimes my body betrays me in more ways than one.

I’m finding an old trigger is returning to trigger status, but for many more reasons than before.  I’m not quite sure what to make of it.  I had wanted to talk to De about it today, but I think she was just too focused on everything else.  She acknowledged that sometimes body functions/happenings can be triggers, but left it at that.  I’m not good at re-directing to a topic unless it’s something incredibly urgent (and even then I have a really difficult time if I have to mention it more than twice), so we moved on in the conversation.  I don’t know what I wanted from her about it, but it was more than the 2 sentences I hurried through.  I know I need to use my coping skills with it and I have been doing that so far.  I just wish I could have talked about it more… like what it triggers and why.  It goes along with the concept of carrying things alone.  I know I could talk to L about it if I really needed to, but it just feels icky.  I would prefer talking about it to someone I don’t have to see every day (and maybe De’s training would provide some additional insight).

On another note, L brought up a good point today.  I had mentioned how De seems distracted by the program review coming up next week.  She had mentioned having to get a ton of paperwork in before the holiday so everything is in order for their accreditation review the following week.  I think De had only mentioned the review twice when discussing scheduling, but I want to say it’s my brain making more out of it.  I know how stressful it can be to make sure everything looks good on paper.  L said that De should not have mentioned the review to me as anything more than a “scheduling issue” to be thrown in with all the other scheduling issues in the coming weeks.  I really don’t think she mentioned it in-depth outside of me asking which agency they were being reviewed by.  I think it’s me making more of it than she is, but I am starting to question that.  Do I get more of the “behind the scenes” disclosures because I can relate to them well?  or is my head filling in the blanks?  I had not asked for an earlier session next week after the holiday because I know the review is Wednesday.  I’m guessing she will want Tuesday to tie up loose ends she doesn’t finish this week.  Had she had it available, she would have offered Tuesday when I asked to keep the rest of the month more even (we had scheduled a Friday, then Tuesday, then Friday the following week, then Tuesday again… I did not want to have to go a week and a half so many times).  We swapped scheduling around for the rest of December, but she kept next week the way it is… I’m trying to balance being too needy and not getting what I need.  I was able to ask for the rest of the month, but now I’m not sure if I had told her to leave next week as is, or if she simply did not offer to change it.

I hate that I get confused about things if they are not written down immediately.  Even conversations I have with L disappear into nothingness after we finish speaking.  De had asked if L and I had been able to feel more connected this past weekend.  I told her I knew we had talked about some stuff, but I could not remember what that stuff was.  I know it was along the lines of self-disclosure about the impact the past has on me, but I can’t remember more specifics than that.  I can read something and forget what I read shortly after finishing.  Sometimes I have the urge to journal about my sessions with De, but if I don’t do it before I leave the parking lot, I forget what was said.  I can know the general topics covered but I forget any detail or the outcome.  It’s reminiscent of my more complete time loss I used to experience in the past.  I would have conversations with people and not remember having seen them in days.  There were times I actually “lost” whole days (happened a lot before I moved out-of-state).  It hadn’t happened in years though.  And the last time I lost whole days (back in 2011) I had been very triggered and unsafe prior to the incident.  It’s not back to losing whole days now, but it’s happening again without any real triggers that stand out to me.  I don’t like not remembering.  I don’t like being so confused.  It’s frustrating to answer the question of “How was your week?” with no information older than a day.  I’m not sure if this is a side-effect of the depression, or more dissociative stuff due to over-all stress.  I know I’m disconnecting from any strong negative emotions, but I don’t want to be disconnecting from my whole life.  (De’s not happy with me disconnecting from anything, but whatever. It is what it is at the moment).

Oh, that was another thing: she wants me to do more stuff and not spend the day in bed.  I didn’t mean I was literally in bed all day.  I just don’t have the energy or drive to do much of anything when everything takes so much energy to start.  I did not tell her that I had managed to clean half the snake cages and rearrange one of the lizard cages.  She asked if I had followed through on cleaning out the empty lizard cages.  I told her I had not, because that was the truth.  I forgot to tell her the work that I had done (more memory retrieval issues.  I managed to think of it after I had left her office).

Lately, I feel like I’m on meds.  In contrast to what the weeks leading up to my inpatient stay were, these 2 weeks have been really mellow and my brain has been mush.  I know I’m not taking anything, but the brain-mush feeling and the mellowness is reminiscent of days when I would be on heavier meds during and after a hospitalization.  I need to figure out how to kick-start my brain back into action.  Maybe it’s just the other phase of the depression.  I don;t particularly feel like doing anything, the restlessness is very present, and my concentration sucks… depressed, but not horrifically hopeless…


rifts in the therapeutic relationship

I don’t know.  I think I’m too worried about the inevitability of being referred out, and the chaos of the holidays.  I put up walls after being inpatient, and I don’t know how to take them down.  I don’t feel comfortable getting into anything of substance with De (or with anyone).  It’s a really weird feeling, because I’ve generally felt like I could count on whatever T I happened to be seeing at the time…  there was a lot of care-taker transference before going inpatient tho, and I think to protect from the inevitable abandonment feelings, I have stopped trusting that she will be there when I need it.  On one hand, we are planning out the next six weeks and taking about beginning more intense trauma work come January, but then the next sentence is planning being referred out for more long-term therapy because the center generally only does short-term work to deal with the immediate crisis of assault (only, I can’t be in crisis, so I’m a bit confused)…

De asked me what I thought of what she had said.  I couldn’t find the words, because my head often needs time to process stuff like that.  She threw a couple of feeling words at me, and I was able to tell her that it was sad, not angry.  I was able to say that the sad came from getting so close to being able to process things so many times only to have the processes interrupted every time.  We talked about what “processing” meant.  I said that I did not expect to forget things, but just not handle them so poorly (and to not be so alone in so much of it)…  I told her that I was tired of having to keep building up trust with new people all the time just to get to a point of stalling.  I want to get through this at least once.  But I don’t know if I trust that I’ll be able to complete it with her, so I am not sure I even want to start.  I mean, yeah, I really want to start, but not if I have to abruptly stop again…  she can’t promise not to refer me out.  I get that.  But…  I just don’t know.  She also doesn’t seem to want to put any effort into helping me get that safety net we both know I need.  I’ve never had so little help when trying to get more supports in place…  I have always experienced that the provider helps secure services.  Having to fight for it all by myself is very overwhelming.  J (couple’s T) is willing to go to bat for me, but it’s disheartening that De (who insists extra support be in place before we start processing stuff) is unwilling to help.  I think that’s contributing to me feeling so lost in being able to trust her again. :/  I can’t even talk about this with her for 2 weeks because of the holiday.  Ugh.

I hate that this (not so) irrational fear of abandonment gets in the way of  anything and everything meaningful in my life.  I’ve shut down my feelings because I don’t want to risk destabilizing again over the next few weeks.  De dislikes that I’m not in touch with anything because she says it points to not being stable, or st a bigger risk of losing my sh*t when we actually start going through stuff.  I think it’s more that I need to have distance from the internal chaos before trying to face it again.  I’m afraid it’s all still there under the surface.  If I allow myself to see it at the moment, it will come barreling back.   I’m not willing to risk that right now.  So yeah, I guess things are a bit unstable.  I don’t want to let them get out of hand.  I want to be able to get through this stuff with De and not have to try all over again with someone else.  I don’t want to burn L out on me.  I don’t want to frustrate everyone in my life.  This all just sucks.  I’m feeling very defeated.


This about summarizes things lately

image


Meditation and Trauma: Untangling the Tangle of Contemplative Dissociation

for reference later on… interesting dissertation that got me thinking. LONG video, but quite thought-provoking

Everything Matters

A paper well-worth reading and pondering: Meditation and Trauma: Untangling the Tangle of Contemplative Dissociation

Trauma has relocated from an event to the nervous system itself, expanding the definition to include any event where our animal body is overwhelmed. This rethinking can be attributed to Somatic Experiencing (SE), a psychotherapeutic approach created by Peter Levine that conceptualizes trauma as occurring when survival responses (fight and flight) cannot be completed…

Judging by the current literature, many Western Buddhist teachers are educated about trauma, will not hesitate to recommend therapy, and offer teachings with great sensitivity to the needs of their students. Nevertheless, the complex relationship between trauma and contemplative practice warrants further attention. In Western Buddhism, trauma is often contextualized within principles central to the movement – mindfulness, loving-kindness, ethical precepts – yet there is a noticeable lack of exploration of the relationship between trauma, dissociation, and contemplative practice.

One of…

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thinking

I have found a few resources on life with mental health issues without meds since I have chosen to stop taking those prescribed to me, and refuse to return to them for anything more than the occasional PRN (as needed).  I feel lucky that I have a family that supports my decision (backed by my continued over-all improvement).  I know that even if doctors or the courts were to try to force me into it, my family would stand up and fight for my right to refuse any treatment I disagree with… Some people don’t have that support.

I was reading a blog on the coercive and abusive nature of the psychiatric industry here in the US.  While I experienced some of that living up north, I see more of it down here.  When I had sought help last week in the form of a brief inpatient stay, I was told by the psychiatrist that “people can’t be in the hospital without meds!”  I agreed to let him prescribe something for sleep and something for anxiety (though he only wrote the sleep script, and I refused it 2 out of the 4 nights I was there).  Meds can have a time and a place, as I really needed something to help with the flashbacks Saturday night after they had restricted all my other coping skills while there (I was unable to talk to anyone without being blamed or preached at, I was not allowed to watch TV as they had “closed” the day room for the night, I could not call my wife before they closed the day room because I could not make a long-distance outgoing call, and no one was willing to make it for me, I had no access to music, I was not allowed to draw or write because it was “too late”… that left my option at: continue to escalate my discomfort with the flashbacks or take something to knock me out… I opted for the meds.  I’m pretty sure they do this on purpose to keep people reaching for the pills).  I watched more than one patient get drugged to the hilt because they were agitated or annoying (one man was on 100mg of Haldol shots every 4 hours because he was mischievous (just to give you an idea of how much that is, the guy was similar build to me, but if I were to take 5mg pill of Haldol, I would be out for 3 days… they gave him 20x’s that every 4 hours), but really, what do you expect us to do when you only provide entertainment/engagement for max 4 hours out of a day.  There is 1 TV for 18 people, and if you don’t happen to like what’s on when someone else picks the channel, you are stuck being bored).  There are 3 phones, but you can’t really call out (and how much time can one person spend on the phone anyway, especially when 17 other people are also trying to communicate with people).  Access to books, art supplies, music, and supportive others is severely limited.   Staff are short-tempered because they are burnt out and working with limited resources… So yeah, they medicate people to shut them up.  It’s easier to deal with a unit full of drooling, asleep patients than it is to try to provide even brief therapy.   Psychiatrists admit that most meds do not take full effect for several weeks, but they discharge patients after a few days of “stabilization”… So how are those meds really helpful at that point?

Once again, I’m saying our mental health system needs an over-haul. I think we need more focus on therapy and providing social supports for people.  We need less focus on lining pharmaceutical companies’ pockets with cash.  We need to listen to people.  We need to hear their stories and help them work through whatever it is that is causing this pain.  Meds can be used primarily as short-term interventions, but ultimately leave it up to the patient to decide.  I hate when a provider asks “Do you think the benefits out-weigh the side-effects?”  because they never want to hear “no”.  They only say that to make us feel like we have a choice, and are choosing to feel better by taking meds.  The truth is, most of the side-effects are not less hazardous or annoying even when weighed against the “benefits.”  Is feeling numb or drugged or insatiably hungry all the time really better than feeling waves of incredible depression?  To this day, I maintain that I have more control over myself and my impulses without medication.  The years since coming off them have proven that.  I no longer move to OD or attempt before I ask for more support.  I can think clearly through problems, and easier identify poor lines of thinking (even if I don’t necessarily work to change them at the time).   The few times I have taken even sleep or anxiety meds this past year, I have found my mood is exponentially more labile and uncontrolled.  I get irritable and lash out without a thought to the consequences of my actions.  A few days after having taken my pill, I find I blow up without provocation.  Once the meds have been processed from my system, I am back to my “normal” self – able to control my temper, which I had never had a problem with before starting meds. That processing time by the way, it’s much longer than they tell you.  Doctors will say many of the meds leave your system in a few days after stopping.  The truth for me is that they affect me much longer.  Trazodone, when used for sleep, is supposed to wear off within a day (according to numerous psychiatrists and a few of my therapists).  It takes my body up to a week to get rid of the effects of having taken it only once.  The longer I take it, the longer the effects last in my system.  The last “regular” med I took caused my body to withdraw from it for months even though I had only taken the med for about 3 weeks.  The over-all expected effect may wear off faster, but the side-effects and withdrawals can last much longer than they tell people.

Sadly, the mental health system is coercive in more ways than simply pushing meds.  In FL, you can be Baker Acted for simply “appearing to have a mental health problem”.  This means that a person can be held in a locked psychiatric facility for up to 72 hours while professionals decide if you actually are a danger to yourself or others.  Many times, they will medicate first, and make the decisions later.  If you refuse meds, you are considered “resistant to treatment” or “non-compliant” and can be deemed “problematic”.  Those labels will then increase your chances of being held longer.   The doctor at my most recent hospitalization made it clear that if I chose to refuse even the prescription of medication, I would be held under the Baker Act until I “accepted the help.”  Prior to my voluntary hospitalizations in SFL, I was involuntarily hospitalized several times (a few without merit, but since the psychiatrist was not on the DBT bandwagon, she deemed me a danger to myself and I was hospitalized for 7 days.  Had she bothered to look into the DBT goals, she would have realized that I had accomplished a lot that weekend and not actually been a danger to myself because I held things in check).  I was also threatened with being forced into ECT treatment after I refused to undergo the procedure voluntarily.  The doctor bullied me and threatened me (while I was involuntarily hospitalized under his care) for 5 days before he could not find other psychiatrists to concede I was incapable of making my own decisions.  Had I not felt as strongly, and not been as educated about my current condition and the uses of ECT, I would likely have given into his tactics just to shut him up (I guess being terrified of my dad for all those years, then learning to stand up to him, helped me stand up to this jerk).  There were times during his tirades that made me wonder about his own sanity.  When asked to provide studies and evidence that proved ECT was effective in treating addictions, or actually recommended for abuse/child sexual abuse trauma survivors, he told me it was my responsibility to look that up myself (please keep in mind he knew I had no access to journals, the internet, or any research information while on this locked unit, but still felt I should be the one looking it up).  It made me wonder if there was any evidence at all to back his claims.  I asked my family to look it up for me, and then I continued my search once out of the hospital.  I have yet to find any articles (peer-reviewed case studies or scientific research) proving that he was correct.  I had found several articles saying that ECT was in fact contraindicated for abuse survivors, but not a single one saying it was more help than hurt.  I had to fight this battle against a “professional”.

I think a huge problem today is that we, as providers, have fallen into a rut with our available treatments.  Money talks, and no insurance company is willing to pay for novel treatments.  There are very few funding sources for research into any new treatments, and large-scale studies need funding.  Students and researchers need to live after all.  They need to support themselves, their families, and their work.  They need people to take risks in backing the trial-and-error needed to come up with viable alternative solutions.

My idea for a competent and flexible treatment center is ever-evolving.  The more I learn about treatments that don’t work, the more I wish I had the knowledge, funding, and resources to provide options to others (and myself).  I know I need to work on my own stuff before I can initiate such an under-taking, but I don’t have the funds to find and hire people I think could actually help me.  Ideally, I would want a safe place to intensively work through all the crap in my head.  I want that safe place to allow me to utilize my known positive coping skills, but also help me develop new ones.  I want to have the option of talking about, communicating about, and sorting through everything that comes up when we open the topic of my traumas.  I want to be able to do that daily, or even several times a day.  I want to be able to take a break from it for a few days if it gets overwhelming, and not be deemed “stable enough” to be discharged.  I want to be able to have someone gently guide me back to dealing with things after a break.  I want to be able to face my triggers and work on coming through them safely on my own, but I also want to know there’s support there if I can’t accomplish that.  I want access to music and my social network.  I want access to my animals.  I want to be able to get out into nature (on my own or with someone else, depending on the situation).  I want to be allowed to cry, and learn that I can safely do that in front of another person.  I want to have people challenge me to get through things without resorting to self harm, OD, suicide, or PRN medications, but I also want them to support me if I do slip up and cut or need to take something for anxiety.  I want to have access to art therapy, music therapy, “alternative” therapies (basically anything that is not the western medical model), meditation, and holistic options.  There are places out there that offer much of this, but don’t accept insurance or payment plans.  That limits their treatment to the independently wealthy… and even then they limit what you can listen to, read, watch, or get support with…  If you happen to disagree with a “core” part of their philosophy, you might as well not show.  The place that looked best on paper had two major draw-backs: 1) it was self-pay only and very expensive ($16,000/wk and you are expected to stay a minimum of 4 weeks), and 2) you could only engage in recovery-oriented activities.  No music outside of meditation chants, no reading if it wasn’t directly related to recovery and treatment, and no TV or movies.  I’m a big proponent of diving head-on into your recovery, but every now and then your brain needs a break.  Even if I end up triggered or craving, it helps in the long run.  After all, I want to know how to handle those triggers once I leave the program.  Totally cutting me off from anything that may or may not cause a bump in my road to recovery only serves to disadvantage me once I leave the padded safety of the treatment center… but it’s a moot point anyway, I could never afford the place…

So yeah, we need to seriously re-think mental health care in this country.  Everyone is different.  Everyone responds differently to treatments, so let’s start catering to individuals… I just wish I had the resources and the voice to start the process.


Sleep therapy for depression

Interesting… I know Dr. C had mentioned something like the CBT-I to help cure insomnia, but never really called it that. I think it’s interesting that they are saying often times insomnia precedes depression (which I have found true for myself many times). I look forward to seeing the rest of the research.

Mirrorgirl

Sleep Therapy Seen as an Aid for Depression

By BENEDICT CAREY

Published: November 18, 2013 355 Comments
 

Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery, scientists are reporting. The findings, based on an insomnia treatment that uses talk therapy rather than drugs, are the first to emerge from a series of closely watched studies of sleep and depression to be released in the coming year.

Ryerson University

A student demonstrating equipment at Colleen Carney’s sleep lab at Ryerson University. Dr. Carney is the lead author of a new report about the effects of insomnia treatment on depression.

The new report affirms the results of a smaller pilot study, giving scientists confidence that the effects of the insomnia treatment are real. If the figures continue to hold up, the advance will be the most significant in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987.

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Say Something, I’m Giving up on You…

My wife asked why I liked this song so much.  At first I wasn’t able to put an answer into words.  I knew it in my head, but a combination of embarrassment and fear kept me from being able to say it… that, and it wasn’t totally cohesive in my head at the time.  I was able to give her a hurried explanation later on, but it still feels inaccurate or incomplete.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’ll be the one, if you want me to.
Anywhere I would’ve followed you.
Say something, I’m giving up on you.

And I am feeling so small.
It was over my head
I know nothing at all.

And I will stumble and fall.
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawl.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you.
Say something I’m giving up on you.

And I will swallow my pride.
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.
And anywhere I would have followed you.
Oh-oh-oh-oh say something, I’m giving up on you.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
Say something…

I think it hits close to home, not with what I would say, but what I would hear.  I’ve lost so many in my life because my mental illness is too much for them to handle.  And each time I swallowed the news from that person without a word.  I cried to myself, or behind closed doors, or after they left, but not to their face.  In their presence, at the sound of the news, I shut down.  I switched my brain off, because it was too much of a loss (it had always been significant people in my life, never just an acquaintance, because acquaintances never knew)…

I first heard this song last week on the unit (I rarely listen to mainstream radio).  It struck me because L had just mentioned the night before that she was getting burnt-out on all this.  It brought the fears elicited by that statement into focus, and put words to it.  It put words to the other losses that had happened under similar circumstances.  It spoke my fears of losing De to being “too unstable”… and then seeing the video piece with the little girl… it just struck a cord.  I can relate to this song on so many levels.

Listening to it on incessant repeat lately helps me move through that emotion in measured waves.  It helps work through the (still stubborn) fears of losing both my T and my wife to this latest bout of decompensation (though both have told me that, as of the moment, they are still around).  I worry about how much more L can take of this.  I worry that she has no real supports down here.  I worry that the added stress of having to deal with the tension in the house will push her to the point of giving up.  I worry that another hospitalization will mean the loss of De as my therapist (2 hospitalizations would hint to more instability than she feels comfortable moving along with).  And with my luck, that would also be L’s breaking point… I know these are just fears, but they are real and present.  I know how taxing all of this can be.  I understand the impact, even if I don’t like it.  And I would understand if she were to choose to leave… I would hate it, but it would make sense.  I think that is why I fear it so much: because I can picture my own limits when placed under the same stressors.  I could see myself no longer being emotionally able to handle it, and needing to walk away.  It terrifies me that she will come to the same conclusion and leave to spare herself more pain.  It scares me a lot.

I know De’s limits, so it’s a bit easier, and a bit more real to think of losing her as my therapist.  I’m constantly reminding myself that I understand her stance.  I know the training that states that trauma work should not proceed without a stable emotional base – for safety reasons.  De reiterated all that yesterday.  She said she would not want to open something up, only to have me without support afterwards and have me become a safety risk… I know I also don’t necessarily want to do it without extra support because I know my own limits.  I have learned that I often need to process things a few hours later, and that the flashbacks kick in when the added safety of being around someone trained to help me process things disappears.  I know how I react to the telling of certain events.  I know it opens a flood-gate of emotions that I don’t often know how to control.  De keeps saying the worst part is behind me: the actual event.  But that’s not the part that scares me.  I am afraid of the onslaught of negative emotions that seep out after the box is opened.  Part of me is scared to tackle all this outpatient, but I also don’t have the option of a competent residential trauma treatment center at my disposal (most accept only private insurance if they accept insurance at all.  So many of the places I looked into are self-pay only).  So, I’m limited to trying this with an outpatient therapist, and I happen to feel comfortable with De.  She knows more of the “dirty” stuff than even Dr. C knew.  She may not have the full picture of it all, but I was at least able to open up around the concept of some of that stuff with her (I think because a lot of it is more common with assault/csa survivors than with the “general” trauma population as evidenced by some of the questions during the intake interview.  Some of the fear of talking about it dissolves when direct questions are asked about the possibility of it being a reality for me)… Even with all my trauma-awareness training and all my intellectual knowledge of the existence of it does not make it easier to accept in myself.  And even knowing it’s just thoughts, and never actions (especially after it was pointed out that my learning experiences until that time could warrant such a line of thinking.  I confirmed that it was abusive thinking and should never be carried out in action, which I had already known in my gut because it had felt wrong.  I’m consciously breaking those cycles), I feel wrong in having had those thoughts.  So anyway, yeah.  De knows more about the possibility of that stuff than anyone else.  If I want to continue working through all this, I would prefer to do it with her.  I know I need to continue to work on it because it’s very much in my face and present down here.  If I don’t work on it, I’m afraid I’d lose myself completely…

But I digress… This song has so much meaning, and serves such a purpose for me right now.  I apologize in advance to L for the obsessive nature by which I will be listening to it for the foreseeable future.  Just bear with me hon, I’ll use my headphones as much as I can 😉

Did this Sunday (11/14/13)… rough sketch, but I need to figure out how to use this program better before I can call anything finished… I’m better with traditional media…

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boredom

I’m at a loss.  My boredom is kicking in high gear, and it’s that restless, insatiable boredom.  No matter what I start doing, I get sick of it in a few minutes and feel the need to move on.  I know it’s the depression messing with me.  I can’t find anything that’s enjoyable and brings me some inner peace.  I wanted to go to the reptile show this weekend, but I have no money (and I know it would be boring, as the shows around here are super-small and boring on a good day, forget a day when I’m restless and frustrated with myself).  I want to go walking in the woods, but there are no woods here to speak of.  I wish we had a fenced-in yard so I could take the dogs out with me to sit out back.  It would be easier to do something different that way (only if I did it regularly, it wouldn’t be different then).

Part of me wants to work more on the herp room (cleaning the empty cages, re-arranging what I have, trying to sell some of the empty tanks, etc), but as soon as I walk in there, I get frustrated with the amount of work to be done.  I quickly walk out again.

I hate this restlessness.


What good is it if no one accepts it?!

I was granted a limited form of state medical insurance for being “medically needy.” Only problem is, very few providers accept it.  The one IOP that kicked me out is also the only IOP that takes it.  211 doesn’t have any suggestions, The state is useless (they emailed me a provider list but all the numbers are wrong or out of service), and the Medicaid hotline has no suggestions. 

I’m at a loss.  De won’t move forward on the trauma stuff until January (and then only after I’m also connected with other services).  So I’m stalled.  I see De again on Tuesday and will update on this lack of progress.  She doesn’t have many resources to point me towards.  I just don’t know what to do anymore. I need services but cannot access them, and there’s no help in trying to secure them.  Even the hospital’s social worker couldn’t find an alternate program and she’s supposed to do this regularly. How in the world am I supposed to get anywhere when the professionals can’t?


damn therapy…

Our session with J was rough, as expected, but in a different way.  I came away feeling angry and invalidated.  I think I need to tell her to let up on the grilling about whether or not I feel like I am getting anywhere in individual therapy.  It’s a process… Trust is a process.  It takes time.  We’ve been seeing J for several months, but I have only been with De since mid-August.  She also said to call the IOP back and ask them for their reasoning behind not letting me back (after all, I did not act on my thoughts/urges, but I sought out help).  She thinks that the rule is stupid.  IOP is supposed to be for the added support, and supposed to be there as a step-down from an inpatient stay.  I was up-front with them about the suicidal thinking when I did my intake.  They knew that was an issue.  I did not make a move to act on the feelings, but I’m suddenly too much of a risk for having to have gone inpatient… J says she would go to bat for me about it with them, but she’s guessing it would be better coming from my individual T instead.  I told her I wasn’t sure I wanted to bother… I don’t like having to beg for help and having to convince someone to provide services.  Yeah, they are the only local place that takes my insurance, but… I dunno.  I’ll see what De thinks. I Just don’t get why I should have to fight for something 1)when I feel like crap and have no motivation, and 2)that I don’t feel worthy of.

J also said that L & I needed to be more direct and say things in the moment more often.  I disagree.  I think that leads to misunderstandings, needless fights, and a lot of hurt feelings.  So F-you J!  Grrr!!!  I’m kinda glad we don’t have her next week…

I see De tomorrow.  Hope it goes well.  I know my walls are up out of fear.  I don’t want to be referred out, but I have a feeling I will be (though that just may be the fear talking).  I’m trying not to get my hopes up, or to want to be too open.  I had mentioned that to J earlier, and that’s when she launched into her lecture on therapy being what you make of it.  

Anyway, came home today and tried my hand at sculpture again.  I haven’t done it in YEARS, so it came out pretty crappy.  Also, the Original Sculpey is super-soft and sticky, which makes it harder to work with (at least at this temp).  My piece ended up flopping over a bit, and it took forever to cure (tho I’m pretty sure somewhere the directions say not to do it in the toaster over, but I didn’t want to have to unpack the big oven for a few small pieces).  I left the sculpture really rough in hopes of being able to add more detail with the Dremel tomorrow.  I have never carved anything.  It will definitely be an adventure.  I took some pics of it tonight just in case I screw it up badly tomorrow.  I’ll only post it when it’s done though (or if I mess it up really badly).  There’s just something about some works that you can’t them show off before they are completed…


so mellow for some reason

I think it’s the remains of the benadryl I took to sleep last night, but I feel totally mellow.  Cranky as sin at times, but still mellow.  It’s very weird.  I’m not quite sure how to take it.  If I knew all I needed was benadryl to counteract the depression, I would have tried this a long time ago.  I know I have not taken any more meds since discharge…

Anyway… that’s all I have.  Sitting here in the coffee shop waiting for 2pm to roll around for our couple’s therapy.  It’s a very “Florida” day outside: alternately raining and bright sun.  Maybe that’s adding to my mood (I love the rain).


Updates

I will be seeing De on Friday.  She did not say she was referring me out over the phone, so I’m hopeful to still be able to see her.

I made it to a walk-in clinic today for my ear.  The breaking point was when it hurt a lot to try to listen to music this morning (without even trying my headphones). I have infections in both ears, as well as some gunk going on in my chest – fun times.  My insurance has not totally kicked in yet, so I can’t get any of the scripts filed.  The state told me to call back Friday and see if I met my deductible.  I hope so, because I could really use those ear drops.

We go to see J tomorrow for couple’s therapy.  I’m thinking it will be an emotionally tough session.  L resents when I chose to go inpatient.  Intellectually, she knows it’s better than the alternative, but she still feels left alone.  Intellectually, I know that she’s more mad at the situation than at me, but emotionally I feel like I again cannot get things right… my hospitalizations are turmoil on so many levels.  I’m glad we have J to talk it over with in a way that feels more safe.  Both L and I retreat into our intense emotions when talking about this stuff.  And I’m scared that this time she said she was getting burnt out on my depression.  I totally get where she is coming from, but I also fear the consequences. 

Losses (and the threat of losses) from my break-downs make it difficult to follow through on asking for help, let alone asking before it’s too late.  That, and I go very quickly from “managing” to “complete mess”. There’s not often much time for me to realize I need help.  Pair that with not really knowing what I need in terms of help, and I end up waiting until things are at the “drama” stage.  My emotional meltdowns pick up speed faster than a luxury sports car let loose on the Autobahn (sp?).  I need to figure out how to change that…

Anyway.  As long as I keep moving (and can sleep through sunrise), the hopelessness stays at a slight distance.  If I wake up before the sun, or stop occupying my brain, or if I’m reminded how useless my insurance is, the sadness and hopelessness starts to seep back in.  I can’t allow that right now.  The holidays are approaching.  I want to be here for that.  Also, De will be less available at that time, so I need to keep it together if I want to stay out of the hospital for New Year’s…


back

Things came to a head last Wednesday, and I asked to go inpatient.  I got out yesterday evening.  My brain’s a bit numb at the moment.

It was an “interesting” experience.  The doctor became highly irritated when I said I only wanted the physical safety/containment without any meds.  He wasn’t listening to begin with, but then walked out as I was trying to explain to him why I was refusing meds.  Despite going in voluntarily, they set me to involuntary status as soon as I told then I was suicidal.  They changed that status back to voluntary the following day on the unit.

I have to say, as frustrating as the hospitals were up north, they are so much worse down here.  The doctors talk to you in passing.  There is no contact with the social worker outside of the initial bio-psycho-social assessment they rush through in 20 minutes or less.  There is no discussion about after-care that I was involved in (they simply told me what they were setting up, without ever asking me what I may be looking for or explaining their rationale).

Most of the stay was bearable, however I had difficulties with flashbacks one night.  I had already refused my sleep meds (I hated the way they made me feel, and the dose he had me on knocked me out for the whole rest of the next day) when they started.  I had no way to ground myself.  The day room had been closed for the night.  None of the staff wanted to talk to me (I’m sure they figured I was just trying to be difficult).  When I asked the nurse if I could still get the Trazodone, she told me she had already sent it back to the pharmacy and marked it as refused.  She said she “knew” I would change my mind about my refusal but did not want to re-order the med.  I told her I was having unexpected difficulties with flashbacks, and really needed some help to quiet them.  She sent me back to bed dismissively.   I chose to walk the halls, as it was lessening them a bit.  Finally, the tech came out of the nurse’s station to ask what was wrong.  When I told her, she insisted that I needed to pray.  I expressed my difference in opinion and requested that she refrain from talking to me about religion.  She continued to try to convince me that I needed to “turn to god” to get through things, all the while telling me it was my responsibility to have left the abusive relationships in my life… I must have asked her 5 times to stop before I finally walked away.  I returned to my room to sit on the bed (since walking the halls was no longer an option without being preached at).  The nurse arrived a few minutes later to tell me she had re-ordered my sleep med (at least the tech helped me out by talking to her).  The nurse proceeded to ask about the flashbacks, but chastised me for “allowing the assaults to happen”.  She told me I should no longer be effected by any of it, and that 17 years was long enough to “get over it… especially since it was [my] fault.” She also mentioned my lack of faith in her “god” as a reason I was still struggling with all of this.  She told me that, had I gone to the police (and church), I would be better off by now.  I took the meds and returned to bed.

It never ceases to amaze me how bigoted and just plain ignorant some people in the mental health profession can be.  It has taken me years to come to terms with not claiming all of the blame for myself.  I know I should have gotten out of the relationship sooner.  I know I should have told someone.  I know I should have been more forceful in my “no”.  But I wasn’t.  I can’t change that now…  and no amount of religious belief would have changed it, ever.

Needless to say, I’m glad I’m out.  It did what it needed to (get me over the hump of the worst of the suicidal thinking), and now I’m ready to move on.  I was not accepted back into the IOP program, as they deem me too much of a “risk”.  No other local program will accept my type of state insurance, so I will not be doing any type of day program (though the support would be nice).  De was off yesterday, so I am not sure if she will be referring me out or not.  They hooked me up for meds with the one place I refuse to have dealings.  I will not be following through with that appointment.  (I also refuse to take meds that only serve to make me more of a risk to myself).  I’m pretty much back where I started in terms of supports assuming I can still see De for individual.  The mental health care system down here needs some serious over-haul.

Also, I was reminded again of the dismissive attitude of health care workers when you are struggling with mental illness.  My cold returned while on the unit, and it took me being unable to get through the 30 seconds with the doctor without coughing violently to finally get cough medicine.  I asked to get something for an ear-ache and sore throat as well, but my requests were flat-out ignored.  I asked my nurse each shift, I asked the doctor, and I told the techs (hoping ONE of them would at least believe me) to no avail.  They seem to think all symptoms are a result of my diagnosis, and nothing other than that needs to be addressed.  I will end up having to find a walk-in clinic that takes my insurance and hope that they will be able to do something for the ear ache…  I miss my providers up north, at least they listened.


f*ck this sh*t… I’m cooked.

Sent all but 2 of my geckos to the herp society for re-homing…  Should have taken the last 2 also, and the snakes… but… I couldn’t do it today.  Maybe another time.

I want to hide away from all human contact… I would say it’s time for heavy drinking, but the thought of tasting anything at all right now is revolting.


went to IOP.  was meh.  feeling more meh.  😦

losing hope fast.

_____________________________________________________

I am lovingly reminded by L that I need to ask for help; that people can’t read minds… only I am afraid to ask, so I hope they can read my presentation…

IOP was unproductive because I could not bring myself to ask for help.  I was really triggered by the second group, but I was too worried about saying the wrong thing (or taking the group off track) to open my mouth and say so.  I thought of asking to meet with my case manager, but I chickened out. I was afraid that if I sat in a room alone with someone, I may actually open up… I was afraid of what that would bring.  So instead, I am here feeling shitty.  I’m shutting my wife out because I don’t want to admit even to her how hopeless I feel.  I’m torn between begging for anything that may even remotely help, and hiding away in myself so I don’t splatter on others when I implode (it’s no longer a question of “if” but “when”).  I need to make it through the rest of today and tomorrow.  Wednesday I go back to IOP and try again.  I have told myself that, if I still chicken out on opening up there, I will stop by De’s office on the way home.  It may be easier to ask her for help than a complete stranger.  She had opened the door to that help last week, giving me permission to just show up if I needed to.  If this continues, I will most certainly need to…


a hair lighter today

It’s not much improvement, but there’s improvement today.  The crushing weight is just a tad lighter than it was yesterday.  I’m still going through huge, plummeting crashes, but they are not as constant.

Been using my coping skills a bit more effectively.  Hoping it lasts through tomorrow.  I’m a bit worried that I will spill the extent of how difficult things have been recently, and they will deem me hospital material.  I go back and forth about being honest.  We’ll see how tomorrow goes.


Depression is not selfish

I often find myself feeling like I’m just selfish and rude and annoying and wrong. I may have to look at this daily…

Just me

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crushing weight (triggering?)

There’s a huge weight in my chest.  It feels like a black hole is ripping me apart from the inside…

I need to make it through the weekend without a total meltdown.  I start an IOP on Monday.  I promised I would give it a try.  It’s just so far away.  I don’t want to do anything or go anywhere.  De had conditionally given me permission to stay in bed if it meant I would be safe. Even bed is no longer bringing relief, but it’s better than outside of it.  I want to cry but the training from childhood is keeping the tears in check (maybe if I could cry I could release all of this).  I used to cut instead of crying – tears of blood… But I am not allowed to cut, so the crushing weight stays.  The tears are stuck in my eyes.  Nothing helps.  Music works to help the emotions go in waves (I tend to get stuck without it), but they still constantly cycle around.

De said it was ok to ask for extra help if I needed it.  She said she wanted me to be able to ask for inpatient if that was what would help.  I can’t bring myself to believe her.  I’m afraid it would be the tripping point that sends this spiral out of control.  I really don’t want to lose her.  There’s a lot of care-taker transference going on with her for me.  So far, those I have felt this way about have disappeared from my life.  I’m desperately trying to keep that from happening with her.  I’m afraid if I ask for more help than even the IOP, I will lose the last bit of glue that is holding me together.  I have a past filled with out of control spirals tripped by a hospitalization.  I don’t want to go there again.  I’m trying to hold it together, but it’s SO hard right now.  I don’t want to admit to feeling this bad.  I don’t want to admit the extent of the hopelessness and despair… and I really have no idea what help a hospital stay would be other than physical containment.  I cannot have my most effective safe coping skills there with me (my wife, my dogs, my music).  They force daily meds (something that makes me 100’s of times worse – yes, there is worse than this).  I lose all control when I’m trying so hard to hang on to it.

Every time I think there’s a glimmer of hope (got disability & Medicaid), there’s really just nothing much more it helps with (very limited places take Medicaid, and none of them offer more intensive therapy than an IOP for mood disorders.  No one that specializes in trauma takes it…).  I was hoping the meditation class would bring some balance today, but it didn’t help.  The topic for today’s walk was possibilities.  Count on a depressed brain to turn that negative…  Being in nature helped a bit.  My instinct was to find a secluded place in the park, but I was unable to do so.  The rain was nice (at the restaurant, we sat at a table that was partially uncovered.  The staff was very worried that we were getting wet, but I kept assuring them I did not have a problem with that.  They kept wanting us to move under the roof, but I liked the rain).  I brought a rain coat, but I just wanted it to pour down on me.  I sat next to the water out in the park.  I begged Mother Nature to open the sky.  She just sent a mist.  L challenges her and she gets the challenge.  I beg for more rain and I get a misting… I need L’s power… She complains that the ocean is too still, and in a few minutes the waves are large.  She complains there’s no mud to play in and in the middle of the hike we get stuck in mud up to our knees.  Today she laughed that the cup I placed under the drips was not catching any water.  Within 30 seconds, the rain came harder and the stream of water filled the cup… I envy her power (or the coincidence of the occurrences).

My heart is broken.  My head is broken.  I’m broken.  It never gets better.  I’m just so tired of all this.  Must make it through Monday…


Emotional roller coaster

As distracted as I was able to get for a good chunk of the day, the night brings with it the return of the depression.  My chest is heavy and tight.  There’s a definite weight on my heart.  I’m tired, but having trouble sleeping. I’m worried about the weekend and anxious for Monday. 
I went to the orientation for IOP today.  I ended up arriving late because for whatever reason my head was convinced I needed to be there at 1, not 12. I realized my error when my phone alarm went off at the 10-minute mark (in the past, I used to set the notification to 15 or 30 minutes, but I got out of the habit for some reason). I called them asking if being that late was ok, then flew out the door.  It ended up being a quick overview of the rules and expectations.  It did serve to make me a bit more comfortable. I’m just still lost as to how I will get there.  I can take our car on Monday, but will need to arrange other transport after that (too far, too much gas,  and L needs the car for work). The place seems ok and the people seem nice.  I hope that first impression holds true… and I hope the program is actually helpful. I think some of tonight’s anxiety is a rush to get the first day over with.  The chest tightness I’m associating with anxiety, the same with the shortness of breath.  I need to dig up my inhaler, but I’m too lazy to move from bed just now. Maybe in a few more minutes?

I find my thoughts continually dipping to the darker side of things.  It shadows my entire world even when I’m supposed to be out and distracted. There was a restaurant giving away free food at their grand opening.  We went and enjoyed the food, but everything was tainted dark.  I tried to focus on the positives (the wrap was really yummy). I repeated over and over again that I was enjoying the time with my wife (which I was) but it was not enough to drown out the whispers.  I’m hoping tomorrow will bring more success: we have our second meditation group meeting at the Japanese gardens.  I really like the place, but I’ve sucked at the meditation exercises we were supposed to do.  I will put more effort into it tomorrow…

This struggle is so tiring.  I’m ready for the break.


hmm….

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many interpretations…


18 things all women should know about sex (a link to an article on huffpost)

I really liked this blurb on HuffPost.com, not only as an assault survivor, but as a woman.  These are things they don’t tell you.  These are the things that make you feel horrible when you believe the opposite…

I would also like to add that “no means no” and you can have any reason to say it, or no real reason at all.  If you don’t want it, you have every right to decline.

 


Lessening the pressure

I’m having such trouble with sleep at night again. I can often fall asleep during the morning hours tho. I guess it’s better than nothing. De has taken to saying “I’ll take what I can get” and it seems to relieve some of the pressure I place on myself with certain things. I think I really like that about her. It helps take away some of the panic about so much “being wrong” at the moment… I think that’s the first time I have been able to internalize her support. Huh. Cool…

She kinda gave me conditional permission to stay in bed for the time being if it means safety; “it’s not ideal and I don’t say that often, but if it means you’re safe, I’ll take what I can get.” It’s kinda sad that we are at that point, but I’m glad the outside pressure is less from her. I get a lot of it from others and myself. It’s a relief that she can just be supportive right now. I’m also wondering if there is some “reverse psychology” in there. Does giving me permission to do it in the moment help motivate to change the behavior? It certainly lessens the judgement that I’m doing yet another thing wrong, which makes it easier to not be stuck in it as long as if I was constantly worried about screwing everything up… yet another reason I’m glad I’m getting the chance to work with her. 

Maybe I should have looked for a therapist that works a lot with kids a long time ago.  I swear I’m stuck at grade-school-level processing when I am in crisis. It’s nice to have someone be able to know what to do with that.


speaking to SJ’s panic

I saw De today.  It was good.  She helped ease some of my fears.  She spoke to the scared little kid in me who was terrified of losing the connection with her.   She did most of the talking, but it was stuff I needed to hear (SJ busied herself coloring a minion).  I was able to ask the main questions weighing on me.  She was able to explain that a discharge for being unstable would be looked at case-by-case.  We will be playing the next few weeks by ear.  She underscored that my safety was her top concern, and she wanted me to feel comfortable asking for help as needed without the fear of immediately losing the relationship.  She was very careful not to make any promises she would not be able to keep, but she was able to promise a termination session if it came down to it.  She explained a bit better what the bounds of that decision would approximate, which gave me a bit better idea of the whole process.  She also agreed we could do more art either in the art room, or her office if the art room is not available… I found out today she has play dough in her office… We may need to break that out next session.

De also seemed relieved that I am willing to go to the IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program – 9am-1pm, three days a week for about 8 weeks) and give it a shot even though it’s not exactly what I’m looking for.  The holidays will be dicey for scheduling, and she will be away for 2 weeks between Christmas and New Year.  She was quite up-front about being relieved that I will have the added support of the program during the time she will be gone.  I kinda feel bad.  I never meant to worry her like that.

Because of our conversation, I was able to admit that the hopelessness is still very heavy.  She encouraged me to ask for whatever help I think I need. She wants me to be able to ask for inpatient if that is something I feel I need at any time.  I’m going to give this IOP a try, and see how it works out.  I hope it will provide the safety net I am so desperately seeking.  I am a bit hesitant about trusting anyone there with my hopelessness.  I have been misunderstood/over-reacted to in the past by people at IOP’s which lead to multiple involuntary hospitalizations (and that was in a state that had stricter guidelines for involuntary commitment.  here, you just have to “appear to have a mental illness” in order to be able to be involuntarily held for up to 72 hours for psychiatric evaluation.  That’s a really broad phrase open to much interpretation… SCARY!).  I worry about saying things the wrong way (as is often the case) or confessing to my hopelessness and being hospitalized because of it.  To help with those fears, I am filling out paperwork that gives my wife power to make decisions for me (and if she is unable/unwilling, my mom gets the honor) in case they declare me “incompetent to make decisions” for any length of time.  I know both L and my mom are on the same page as I in terms of my mental health treatment.  I am confident they would support any decision I ask for.  It’s scary how paranoid that makes me sound.  However, having been in battles regarding my mental/emotional competence in the past, I want to make sure all my bases are covered.  One of my greatest fears is being forced into a treatment I do not want.


Coping skills app ideas

If I were to create a coping skills app, what would you like to see in it? I have some ideas, but others are always welcome.  I have never made an app before, but my lack of knowledge of my own coping skills in times of need is prompting me to put something together.  I have found a few out there, but none do what I really want them to (namely they don’t include everything I would like to see in the way that I would like to see it).

Also, would you be more apt to download it if it were kinda cute/funny?  or all business?  I tend to lean towards cute/humorous, but I know not everyone is the same way.  I would like to get to the point of customizing the look, but that may take more expertise on the coding end (which I could possibly get some tech geek friends to help with).

Ok, so I’m not going to mention what I want to put in, but will wait to see what you all suggest.  No limits to creativity on ideas!  I do have tech people who can help me figure stuff out if I need to get really fancy with it.  If you took your coping skills with you on your mobile device, what would you like to have with you?

 


Some relief?

The appointment at the IOP went well, I think.  I have an orientation on Friday and start Monday.  It will be focusing on the depression and anxiety.  When I talked to De to update her, I told her they actually recommended seeing an individual therapist while still doing the program.  She said that it might work out really well, and we might be able to keep working together on the trauma stuff with the added safety net of the program.  I think she will check it out with her supervisor, and we have agreed to take it on a week by week basis.  Her concern would be possibly overdoing the therapy.  I told her I have been able to work well under those conditions in the past, and the added support is good when dealing with the trauma stuff.  I hope it works out.
The only issues with the program is transportation. I have to figure out how to get to and from the program.  It’s tough with the distance and us having only 1 car.  The guy gave me 2 ideas for help with that, but was not too specific about who I should talk to and if it would really help.
I almost cried when De said we might still be able to work together.  When I left yesterday, it seemed like that would not be a possibility.  I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, but… phew!
Glad I did not get to a place of having to go inpatient.  That would have definitely messed up my chances for continuing with De.