Monthly Archives: May 2014

getting over myself

I need to learn to get over myself.  I need to learn to rely on myself. I need to be ok with the boundaries placed around certain relationships, and the amount of support I can receive from them…

I’ve been struggling in therapy lately.  I feel like I go in, she talks to me, she validates what I say, but it doesn’t feel like enough.  I feel like she’s not listening, not letting me talk.  But when she gives me the chance, I don’t know what to say, so I say nothing. Then I get mad at her because I feel lacking.  The truth is, it’s all my fault.  I don’t say what I need to.  I am not clear in what I’m asking for, even when I think I am (but I’m not).  I don’t know what to say I need because I’m afraid.  I’m afraid to get rejected.  I’m afraid that I’m as much of a mess as I think I am (as I have been told I was). So I need to get over myself.  Because none of this is helping anything at all.


Vertigo and the Epley Maneuver

I was taking to one of my nieces about vertigo, and realized that most doctors either don’t know about, or don’t care to mention to their patients about the Epley Maneuver. It’s simple, quick, effective, and doesn’t require meds. Oh, and did I say it was effective?! It consists of finding out which ear is the one causing the issue, then doing a series of turns in a specific way to move the calcium crystals further out the ear canal. It takes about a minute to do (maybe a minute and a half), and makes the vertigo so much calmer. I went from the room spinning wildly to being able to walk a straight line immediately after we did it.  Prior to trying the Epley Maneuver, I was popping motion sickness pills like candy just to get the room to slow. I would lay in bed not moving in hopes of not making those pesky crystals shift.
There are a few considerations with it though, the biggest being able to figure out which ear canal has the crystals (generally, if you lay on your side, the world spins faster when you lay on the side with the floating crystals). When doing the maneuver, make sure you turn to the affected side. The other consideration is doing it with someone who can hold your head steady and keep time (you would be surprised how hard it is to keep your head still when the world is like a merry-go-round on coke). If you don’t hold your head steady, the crystals don’t go to the right place.  If you don’t hold the pose for the recommended time, the crystals can’t float on down to where you want them to be.
The best thing about this: it’s free and you can do it as many times as you need to. I only did it once the first time, but twice, a few days apart, the second. It sure beat all the meclizine I would have taken.
Anyway,  I will dig up the video link and post it here, along with some links to other helpful articles on vertigo. Hope no one experiences it, but in case you do, hope this can help.

I couldn’t find the site I had originally visited, but here is the link to the Johns Hopkins info page on it.


Stupid things…

…that are not all that stupid, but they are.

I ordered some charms for a bracelet I wanted to make. It was something that was inspired by a song that means a lot to me. I searched high and low to find the charms with the right look. They had to have just the right look. I finally found them. I ordered them, and waited 3 weeks for them to arrive. Now that I see them in person, they don’t fit. They are too large and bulky for the piece of jewelry I want to create. It’s not supposed to be a big deal, but the meaning behind it is huge for me, so the fact that the pieces I am trying to combine for the finished product don’t fit well together are bothering me more than they should. I want to cry over it. I want to sob and tantrum like a little kid… All over some stupid charms that don’t fucking fit. Part of me (that stupid little [big] negative part is saying that this is the way my plans for my life will go: the pieces I think will pull everything together will not fit, and everything will need to be figured out all over again. It’s how life always goes)… so it’s stupid, but it’s not. I’m mad that I “wasted” money on these really awesome charms that just don’t work. And I’m mad that I have to figure shit out all over again… and I’m scared that is how this move will go, and how all my plans for life will always go, because that’s how they always have gone. FML.


The thought of him makes my skin crawl

G is in state.  He is staying at a hotel, but he wants to come over tomorrow to visit with M. I will be out of the house, but I’m still uncomfortable with him coming over. The tension in the house is mounting as it often does when he is near. I feel creeped-out by the thought of him coming. I don’t want him to see anything of mine or ask M any questions about me. I don’t want him touching anything I ever touch. I don’t want the animals around him. He’s inappropriate enough over Skype, I don’t want to think of his lack of boundaries when here. My skin is starting to crawl. I feel dirty and really uncomfortable. And I feel anxious that I may return before he leaves. I think I will just plan to be out at the beach or something all day tomorrow. I’m glad the survey paid in a gift card, and I’m glad I did not use it over the weekend. I will have a way to pay for food and parking tomorrow. Internally, I’m shuddering… I hope this all is over soon and he leaves the country again. He’s just not good energy.


who you were and who you are. ~stephen king

love this quote, though only read it for the first time just now… very fitting.


muddling through

It’s a rough transition.  Both L and I are struggling with the concept of being separated.  Both of us are struggling with our environments and our inner demons.  But both of us also seem to be finding a way through.  I wrote a really long but honest blog to De today.  It helped a lot to simply know that she will know all of that, to know that I was honest and putting things out there in hopes of getting support.  It’ll be an uncomfortable session on Friday (because a lot of it is surrounded by huge amounts of shame), but at least I’m being honest and trying to figure things out.

I’m very aware of my neediness and my mal-adaptive thought patterns, but I am having trouble changing them all by myself.  Awareness is the first step though.  I am hoping she can help me with the changing piece.  I was able to ask for some specific things directly for probably the first time ever.  I was able to identify specific things, how they would help, and what I would like to ask from her around them.  That’s not an easy thing for me.  I often have trouble identifying and admitting to my needs.  I think it comes from a combination of having them either flat-out denied (by being told that they are not actually my needs, and my needs are something else), or having serious consequences for voicing them.  I can remember a number of times when my opinions were denied and corrected (some as recent as a few weeks ago). It’s an interesting dynamic that happens in my family.  I will say something along the lines of “I need to talk to someone about X” only to get the response: “No. That won’t help. You need to do Y”  Even if I give concrete examples of how Y has been counter-productive, it is insisted that I really do want Y, just afraid to say it. When someone hears things like that often enough (and the person is forceful enough), they learn to change their desires to fit what is being insisted upon.  I guess this doesn’t happen so much if you have no history of abuse, but it certainly happens with me.  I lose the drive to argue when no argument in the world would help my case.

 

 


today is a new day

I ended up at the beach last night.  It was nice.  I will really miss the beach after the move (it’s a mere 20 minutes from here, but will be about an hour from where we will be living… and there will be no palm trees or wading in the winter months).  I really needed the time away.  I needed to think and drown in my music.

I can’t remember which blog turned me on to Angel Haze, but I am in love.  She’s inspirational, positive, and kicks ass.  I can’t pick a favorite song because I like almost all of them.  Dirty Gold is my current obsession, but there’s also Battle Cry (ft. Sia), Angels and Airwaves, A Tribe Called Red, Same Love (remake)… and ok, just about all of them…

I have been fighting strong self-harm urges since the TSA line back up north.  I guess it’s a good thing they no longer allow sharps in the airport because I would have shredded my arm and leg in the airport bathroom before boarding, they were that intense (and I had that little resolve at the moment).  Music has been my centering tool.  I have not picked my art up again yet, but the iPod is glued to my side, with earbuds wedged into at least one ear.  If I don’t have my iPod on, I am playing music through the computer or my phone.  I am sure I will run through the gamut of coping skills in my repertoire before De returns from vacation.  This weekend is a long weekend and most people already have plans.  M and I will be spending more quality time together. It’s not a bad thing, but we have forgotten how to interact. We don’t have simple casual conversations, it’s only ever stuff that lights one of us on fire (if not both).  I wish I remembered how to talk to her.  I wish I knew how to rekindle that close relationship we had back in the day (or at least I think we had).  We are both lost in our own drama.  When we meet, we tend to collide because the spinning arms of the drama hit before we meet causing sparks to fly and fires to light.

I volunteered for a research project on reporting sexual violence.  I’m not 100% sure what they are looking into, but I believe De had said they are looking into how to improve the reporting experience, and what causes barriers to reporting.  I was supposed to meet the lady tomorrow at De’s office, but they will be closing early for the long weekend.  The lady will be coming here later on this afternoon.  I hope the dogs don’t maul her while trying to get her attention (they LOVE people SO MUCH they are not quite sure how to contain themselves. I also suck at keeping up with their training, and they don’t get out as much down here. They do better when they have seen other humans recently).  The questionnaire should take no longer than 15 minutes she says, so it shouldn’t be too painful.  I don’t think it will be too triggering either, so it should be well worth the money I get from it… I miss research opportunities.  While I was never a fan of writing the papers, I did enjoy coming up with the ideas for the papers.  I love expanding the knowledge base on things that we don’t quite know too much about.  I love education, and helping people understand things.  I wish someone would do more research on the after-effects of sexual violence.  There’s so much anecdotal stuff out there, but so little “official” understanding of a lot of it.  I recently found a blog entry on a topic I have never really seen discussed in print.  I know I have been told that it is not uncommon for assault/abuse survivors, but I had not seen anything even remotely close to educational about it anywhere before.  It is also one of the few places to write about it as a function of coping with the abuse vs a pathology simply deemed psychotic.  I wish medical professionals had access to that information.  I think I may have gotten some more effective treatment earlier on had the doctors seen it as something that makes sense in the context of my trauma.  I’m fighting with the thought of posting a link to it here because I don’t think it’s something I’m ready to admit to anyone outside of a few select people.  I know it would have helped me immensely seeing it before now. It helps ease some of the shame to know (other than just hear one or two professionals tell me it is not uncommon and it makes sense) that others struggle with it.  I was surprised to see the number of comments on that post (well over 200?!) from people all struggling with it in one form or another. I’m just not ready to go public with that aspect of my struggle. I guess I could post a link to the blog itself, and let you wade through the posts to find the one I’m talking about… I just… I can’t say it right now. Not yet.  It’s still something I’m working on with De (and eventually with whomever I see up north)… Anyway, the blog is called Blooming Lotus. She has not written recently, but there’s a ton of good stuff on there (at least stuff that can help you feel less alone).  I hope, if you struggle with anything she speaks about, you will find some peace in knowing that it really is something others struggle with… and that’s coming from people who know it first-hand, not just through trainings or clients…

On a totally random note (random because I’m not 100% sure what train of thought led to this) but how can you hold two completely opposite and contradictory ideas as true at one time?  I know DBT covers some of this, but I am allergic to DBT, so I don’t really remember the concept behind the “dialectics”.  I’m talking about such opposing ideas that they should not be able to be held as true at the same time because they virtually cancel each other out.  If I tweak one idea, it’s a little easier to understand how I can hold them both true and correct at the same time, but they are not tweaked, nor do I wish to tweak them.  One is the concept of  “never, ever give up.” The other is the right to “bow out” as each individual sees fit.  Suicide is seen as giving up, so how can I hold that sentiment with the belief that everyone has a right to give up if they choose to do so? How can I advocate for life at any cost in one breath, and the freedom of choice to end your own life in the next?  I am not currently suicidal, though the freedom to have that “escape route” is calming to me.  I hold at once the obligation to fight any and all demons, and the option to give in to the desire for peace and an ending.  How is that even possible?  Maybe it’s that I understand the pain on both sides.  I have felt the desperate need for relief, and I have felt the devastating black hole born of the death of someone I care for deeply.  I grew up with the women in my family (and possibly even the men, but I don’t remember that as explicitly) lamenting about death being around the corner.  My grandmother said that she would die soon (should die soon, needed to die soon) since before I was born.  My mom would always say she wanted the right to kill herself should she ever be incapacitated (she wanted to make sure we all understood and agreed with her right to choose to end her life if she could no longer live it the way she was used to living, be it physical or mental).  I think I recall my father saying similar things.  No one ever expected to “get old”, yet the only person who did not speak regularly of death died at a young age.  My grandmother was 94.  Both my parents are still alive (despite saying neither of them wished to reach the age they are currently).  Bitch is still alive in her late 70’s (all of us wish she wasn’t).  But K is gone, and has been for 20 years this year.  She was 52 when she died, but she was the only one who wanted to grow old… I was indoctrinated to believe that every human has the right to decide to end their own lives.  But I’ve also felt the loss, and had the training that ingrained in me the instinct to preserve the life of others (and maybe even my own)… so I hold those opposing truths at once. Sometimes it’s a mind-fuck.

pass almost 2 hours: The lady for the research study came and it took me an hour and a half to complete the survey.  Her computer was slow, but I also think I kinda spaced on some of it.  it was only supposed to take 15-30 minutes.  Clearly, I did not fit that time frame.  It was ok.  I thought it would ask more about any history, but most of the questions revolved around the last 12 months.  I remembered an incident I had not thought anything of because of where it happened and the circumstances surrounding it.  It was during a hospitalization last year. It happened on a locked unit, by another patient, and in front of staff.  It wasn’t anything major, he was having a psychotic episode (or so they said) and tried to grope me after another patient mentioned that I was a lesbian.  I pulled away. I was able to re-direct him in no uncertain terms, and staff told him to stay away from me (and really everyone).  Despite the fact that I was in there due to my PTSD reactions over past assaults, I was never spoken to about the incident, no one asked if I was ok.  I simply stayed out of the common areas for a while, and later had some really bad body memories that ended in an uncomfortable verbal incident with another staff member.  The thing is, you lose all rights when you are hospitalized for psych issues.  You lose your personhood. You become a thing without feelings, needs, or any control over anything.  They treat you like prisoners (though I tend to think prisoners may be better off in some respects).  If you don’t do what you are told, you are lectured and called “defiant”.  Things slide that would never slide outside those locked doors. People (other patients as well as staff) can treat you like crap, violate all sorts of boundaries, order you to do things, and you just have to accept it.  You have no rights, you have no decision-making capabilities, and anything you say is clearly an exaggeration due to your mental instability.  I was expected to have no real reaction to this man invading my space and trying to invade my body because he was a patient and so was I.  It’s counter-intuitive that a patient’s reactions and feelings are not taken into account on a psych unit, but it’s true way too often.  The minute you step foot onto that floor, you are no longer a functioning, reasonable human being who is simply having a difficult time, you are a crazy person that needs containment (even if you are there for depression or anxiety). With or without a psychotic diagnosis, you are treated as if you are actively psychotic.  At least, that is how the hospitals in this state are.  Up north, I felt a bit more human, a bit more sane.

Anyway, I digress… the survey took longer than I had expected, but I did get paid, so that’s good.