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.