Monthly Archives: June 2014

I don’t want it

For the first time in forever, I don’t want therapy to happen tomorrow.  I don’t want to say goodbye.  This isn’t the right time.  I can’t get the feeling that she is dying out of my chest.  I know the feeling is not her, it’s K, but right now it feels like her.  And I hate it.  I spent the better part of today in bed; the better part of the last few weeks triggered and startling at everything.  I don’t want to go to sleep because that means tomorrow is closer.  I want to slow down time.  I want to stop it in that moment before she goes away.  So many I have trusted have left my life.  It sucks.  And it’s terrifying.

I don’t have plans for tomorrow after session’s up, but I may go to the beach if I get paid by then.  I have plans for Wednesday evening because I know it will be difficult knowing the time she leaves the office for good.  I have plans for Thursday & Friday because I know I will need the support.  I wish the MeetUp group that had a meetup on Sunday wasn’t holding it at a nude/clothing optional beach.  Maybe if I wasn’t so triggered I could go, but right now it wouldn’t be a good idea even though all the guys in the group are safe… I would need to carpool, and that would mean no escape when I get triggered, no safe place to hide and ground and escape from it all.

I really hope the new clinician calls soon…

Self Harm is Real- Originally for Recover Your Life

no energy

I don’t know. I don’t have energy anymore… depression sucks.

I can’t get out of my own way (again?!)

I didn’t sleep well last night.  I am feeling very lost and needy today, but without energy to do anything about it.  I want a magic pill or wand or spell or something to make this all better.  I don’t know how to do anything about it.  I had enough energy to get out of bed, dressed, take the dogs out, and feed them. Then back to bed.  I know I have a huge list of coping skills De gave me again yesterday, but I can’t settle on any one to do.  I pick up my art, and stare at the blank page. I want to go out to the beach, but I don’t have the parking money.  I don’t want to watch tv or talk on the phone (my head hurts).  I didn’t even make coffee this morning.  I want someone or something to distract me, but I don’t have that at the moment.  Tears keep falling from my eyes, but I don’t want them to.  They are falling for all the wrong reasons.  I wish I could just sleep. I wish my head would shut up, and I could move on from this… I hate everything right now, and I’m so incredibly tired.

More insomnia again

Feels like the story of my life.  It’s 4 am and I’m still not sleeping. My anxiety is high and I suddenly don’t remember how to deal with it. The stupidest little things trigger me. I startle at any sudden noise. I just want to cry, but I can’t seem to. I keep going through the basic grounding De reminded me of today: I’m an adult.  It’s 2014. I’m 35 years old. We have 4 dogs in the house. I am free to leave at any time, for any reason or length of time… I’ve gone through this list close to 3 dozen times tonight. My head still is not stopping. I can’t shake the feeling of being a kid. I can’t get the memory of the anger out of my head. I’m trying to just breathe, but unless I’m totally focused on it, I forget to breathe. Back to the list: I’m an adult. It’s 2014. I’m 35 years old.  I’m married to L. I can leave the house any time I want, I’m free to come and go as I please. We have 4 dogs. It’s 2014.  I’m an adult… but then I forget to breathe, so back to concentrating on my breath. I do that again for too long and I need to ground again… sleep doesn’t fit into this equation at the moment. I wish it would. I keep yawning. My eyes are tired, my head is tired. But I close my eyes and I’m 14 again. So they fly open once more. Will this cycle end? Can I maybe get some sleep tonight?
Just breathe. Gotta remember to breathe…

it’s almost here

Today was my second to last appointment with De.  I’m glad I wrote stuff for her to read before, because I couldn’t figure out how to say what I needed to while I was there.  She walked me through some ideas on how to deal with the down time (though it wasn’t quite what I had hoped. I had wanted to make up a schedule and things that I am expected to do, but she just left it at a coping skills list and I wasn’t able to say that I had hoped for more).  Then she indulged me by showing me my chart.  I pretty much knew what would be in there, but I needed to hear it from her.  My head sometimes comes up with things even though I know that it would be unlikely.  She showed me the intake, copies of the handouts she had given to me, the checklists she had to complete, the assessments we had done, and she read some examples of the notes she had written.  She asked if it was what I had expected. I told her I figured it was that kind of stuff, and that the notes would be as vague as they were because it’s pretty much standard across agencies for confidentiality reasons.  It gave enough info to convey what we had done, but not enough to give away too much information should any records be summoned to court (they are the county sexual assault services center as well as a child protective services branch, so records often go to court, lawyers, police, etc).  They are also audited by the national accreditation agency, and supervisors see the files.  I knew there would be no judgement either way, just objective statements, but I needed to hear that.  My head had been getting too loud with the negative judgements I have towards myself.  It was getting mixed up with what I knew she would be writing…

She also told me that she had spoken with the clinical director at the new agency. She was able to give a better picture than just the intake would, and she said she advocated for me getting someone who “is not scared of self-harm” and someone who would not switch over again before I moved.  From what she told me, she gave a pretty accurate picture of what we had done, what has been helpful, and what some of my obstacles are.  Because I have been so caught up on “I should know better” lately, she made it a point to convey that, while I have a background in all this and I can be pretty insightful, it does not mean I necessarily know how to apply it to myself.  I’m really appreciative of that, because it’s so hard to explain to a clinician that yes, I can spout all this theory, insight, and planning, but I can’t always implement it… and it makes me feel like crap. If I’m so good at this with others, why the heck can’t I figure shit out for myself?!  De was gentle in reminding me all clinicians are actually human also. We have our struggles and weaknesses.  We have our bad days (or in my case, bad decades). And we all reach out for help at some point either because we are stumped about a client or about our own lives.  I guess it’s along the same lines of MD’s sometimes needing to seek out medical attention from someone else. :sigh: If I could figure out/remember how to fix myself in the moment, I certainly would…

Anyway, she asked if there was anything else I wanted to cover.  I told her I had “wanted to show her some more art, but…” She offered to go the full hour, and I was able to say that I didn’t necessarily want to talk about any or all of it.  She still expressed interest, so I handed her the newer art journal.  It wasn’t as full as the WTJ, but still had stuff I wanted her to see.  I wished we had time to talk about it because some of it came up after a difficult session last week.  I guess that will have to wait to be talked about with someone down the line, I’m just not sure who and when because it’s still very raw and vulnerable and very much wrapped up in the past.  I’m not sure I can go into some of that stuff with someone else anytime soon (though it is something that is with me daily).  I just don’t know if I want to take that risk again knowing that whomever I end up seeing at this agency will definitely be time-limited to only a few months.  It’s too raw to be able to trust enough to go into in such a short time-frame…

We wrapped up… she reminded me Tuesday will be our last session… I know.  trust me, I know.  Part of me wishes she had asked why my answer was what it was when she asked how I felt about the upcoming break in services. Part of me is happy I didn’t have to go there with her… I really need to be able to figure out how to say goodbye by Tuesday.  I had written something out, but I don’t think it says what I want it to. I at least have the weekend to mull it over and try to come up with something better.  I did write to her asking to not let me leave on Tuesday without being able to say goodbye though…

There’s freedom in telling

This is something I have been thinking about on and off for years. I have been of the belief that, for myself, I need to be able to tell my trauma in a safe environment. I need to be able to speak about it, to share it, to not carry it alone anymore.
Recovery from traumatic events is a very individual and personal experience. I understand the drive to have empirically based evidence that suggests a particular treatment works (especially if it’s expensive), but I also understand that recovery is not the same for everyone. Some people need to talk about it, some people benefit from the behavioral interventions, some people need to focus simply on the future.  I think when we limit the options for treatment, we limit the chance of recovery. There was a recent article on about the VA system and how it continues to fail soldiers. They cited a lack of empirical evidence on best practices as one of the major problems. I think a greater issue is the lack of client-centered treatment.
When we try to fit all consumers into one tidy little recovery box, we miss a lot. I have tried dbt seven times.  I have failed it with catastrophic results all seven times. No matter how I protest the concept of that particular treatment for myself, clinicians and treatment providers always fall back to it saying that I “just wasn’t in the right mind-set for it”. If I were to approach them with a similar history of failed treatment that was not the “popular” one, I would be reprimanded for stubbornly trying something that has clearly not worked. Not only had it clearly not worked, but it has threatened my life every time. So why is it ok for clinicians to keep suggesting it to me? Because this is the accepted treatment modality for many of my symptoms. They no longer think outside the box of what is dictated by insurance. We are losing the creative approaches to meeting the client where they are at, and that is ending very badly for a lot of people.
My ideal situation would be trauma treatment (or any treatment) that is catered to the individual.  If things work for the person, great, let’s keep doing it.  If things don’t work, let’s wreak our brains trying to find something that does. There is no reason so many people should be failed by the system. We have research, we have experience, and we have smart people out there who can figure out how to make things work. Sadly, money talks, and it’s rarely open to backing “unproven” or unconventional methods. I’d be screwed if I had an addictions problem because so much of it is based on AA. That would be incredibly triggering and unwelcoming to me and I would fail. They would blame it on resistance, and label me impossible… they’d never once look at the fact that I react strongly and negatively to any talk of a god or higher power. They would simply say I don’t care enough about my recovery. We need to change the way we look at recovery on all fronts if we are going to be able to be successful in healing the hurt in so many people.