Monthly Archives: July 2014

Delta sleep system is working for the dogs…

…but not so much for me. I woke about an hour ago because one of the dogs needed to pee, and I can’t get back to sleep. I’m just here listening to the ambient noise of the delta sleep tracks, but it’s not helping me sleep at all. I wonder if I play “Breathe” by Telepopmusic on my phone as well as the delta sleep tracks, maybe that would help? It can’t really hurt at this point (and if it does I can simply turn it off). Here’s hoping for more than 3 hours of sleep tonight…

Imploded emotions

I think my inner world has imploded (or exploded?) and now is flat… I went from really struggling with everything to just being here, existing. I did some art, wondering if that helped even things out? I want to show De (because she would make more sense of it than TL) but that can’t happen, so I will have to try to explain things to TL… I hate having to go back to origins of things. Samantha Jane made an appearance in the art, as did Dotty. I will have to explain them both to TL. Dotty might be an easier explanation than SJ. Not sure how to safely and accurately explain her without getting some seriously questioning looks from people (and she comes out more when I talk about her. I want to make sure TL will be safe to bring her to. Not sure how that will go. It’s fun trying to explain inner children as separate beings but not truly separate, and still not sound totally loopy to the person hearing the explanation. I think there’s also a measure of protection in not wanting to explain SJ to TL)…

I suddenly really miss De again. It wasn’t even that great of a therapeutic relationship (we seemed to stall around the Duckboy stuff at some point), but she didn’t outwardly judge, and she felt safe. I so need that safe feeling again… and I need to not have to spend energy on explaining histories again. I’m spent on that. I wish TL had all that history stuff and I didn’t have to go through it all again now. I get that she needs to get her own impressions, and she needs to learn, but I need to move forward.

Insomnia’s back again, and I am short on benadryl tonight, so it will be another night of poor sleep. I’ll be a hot mess again by Friday’s session if the lack of sleep continues. I do really badly without sleep…

Not much to say of late

Been quiet lately as I have nothing much to say… waiting for Friday to roll around in hopes that this time I will find some connection with TL. I think I may bring it up to her (the lack of connection) and see what she makes of it. I’m half-heartedly trying to find another therapist, but it’s difficult in these parts. Finances limit me to an agency with a 6 month waiting list (where I had seen De), the agency through which I see TL, and one with a 5 week waiting list (where I had seen D)… I could go to the agency-which-shall-not-be-named, but it’s horrible and I’d rather stick it out with TL, or take the huge wait lists before I try there. Heck, I’d even rather be inpatient then go there (which is saying a lot because inpatient down here is pretty horrible)… so TL it is for the moment. Here’s hoping Friday comes fast, and I get something more out of it. I figured out that the thing that really bothers me about TL is the way her questioning and probing comes of as accusatory. It feels like an attack, though I’m guessing it is not meant as one. Maybe if I tell her it feels like that, we can get somewhere? Maybe some connection will happen, and maybe I’ll start to like her more? I dunno. I might just ask to switch if it doesn’t work with her.

Another first

For the first time I can remember, I’m resentful of therapy. I don’t want to go today. I don’t want to open up. I don’t want to trust her. I don’t want to do this… but then again, I don’t want to do anything right now, and I’m in a helluva bad mood this morning (no benadryl for the first time in a while, which meant no sleep, lots of anxiety, and a whole heap of resentment). Ugh.  Someone shoot me?


I feel like I have nothing useful or “interesting” to say lately.  I keep going back to the thought of really not liking TL and not sure I can work with her.  I’ll give tomorrow’s session a go, and see where we stand from there, but I still get the impression that I am a nuisance to her.  I don’t want to disclose anything else to her.  I don’t want to talk about anything meaningful.  My walls have gone up hard and fast in reference to her.  I’m not sure why…

Actually, I think the walls around my inner self have gone up hard and fast.  I’m blocking it out because it doesn’t feel like I have meaningful support right now.  Without that, I’ll fall apart easily.  It’s scary inside right now, but I can’t access it, so I can’t describe it or know what to do to change it… I really miss De right now….

Grumble grumble grumble

TL called out sick today and rescheduled for Saturday.  It was so difficult getting to today. Now I have to get to Saturday.  Ugh. Going to try working on some art. Need some sort of release…

In the mean time, I’m tired but can’t sleep, so going the benadryl route again.  No ativan left because was using that to tame the body memories (didn’t have all that much left, barely 8 doses).  Now just going to utilize the benadryl. Hope it works…

Wtj: ugly draw



Demons always win.

Learning is tough

I hate myself right now. I had the opportunity to ask for help, and I stumbled. She asked what I needed, and all I could say was to know if she had earlier time this week. I couldn’t admit to struggling. I couldn’t admit to floundering with everything. I couldn’t form the words needed to be able to ask for extra support, even if it would not be something she could provide…

I can’t do this. Daily I fight the urge to down all my pills, or slice my body to shreds. I talk myself out of careless driving, and other destructive actions. I was too scared that she would suggest the er. I was too scared that I’d wind up hospitalized… I don’t want to wind up hospitalized. I don’t need physical containment, but I know that’s what it would sound like. I need support in figuring out how to turn the overwhelming into something I can handle. Except I don’t know how to say that. I know how to say I’m falling apart; not how to say I’m totally overwhelmed and need help with emotional containment… I still have learning to do. And learning sucks.

Too much damage

Sometimes broken is just too broken… you can’t fix too broken.
As much as I clung to the hope De had when she told me she’d help get me through the darkness, I don’t have any hope left. I’m way too broken… and there’s no fixing that. Too many failures. Too many broken pieces that just don’t fit back together again. :(…

Whatever it is…

I was thinking of a friend, and remembered that one of the most comforting things anyone had said to me when I was really low was this: “We’ll get you through this, whatever it takes.  We’ll keep you safe.”

Sometimes all a person needs is to know they are not alone in their struggle; that someone else recognizes their hurt and will stand with them through it. It doesn’t matter if it’s hormones, situational, or a chemical imbalance. To that person, it’s very real and very painful in the moment…

Sending love to all those struggling out there. You are not alone♥

Healing is not easy

There are a lot of bumps on the road to recovery. There are lots of slips and slides. Most of the bumps and slips are my own doing. Even with the best of intentions, healing is not easy…

I find myself gaining insight, but unable (or unwilling?) to make changes based on that insight. I see the destructive path some behaviors are taking, but I continue because it’s easier than fighting to make new behaviors work. Fear immobilizes me. I’m afraid of the outcome of trying something new. What if it’s not as effective? What if I can’t figure out how to make it work and the agony is prolonged? What if I keep screwing up my words and I’m continually misunderstood until I can’t make any more efforts to try? What if I keep fucking up? …because I keep fucking up even at things I should be proficient in, forget trying to succeed at something new.

I’m floundering. I’m struggling to figure out how to get needs met that I can’t even reliably identify. All I know is I need support. I don’t know what it looks like. I don’t know how to get it. I tried asking TL for more support, but like I often do with words, I must have screwed it up. I got a week and a half between sessions instead of extra time in the week. I’m just now figuring out that I’m being extra hard on myself because of this. It wasn’t conscious, but I’m “punishing” myself for my lack of competence… My self-talk is harsher than I normally engage in. My temper is hair-trigger. I’m eating and drinking things I wouldn’t normally allow myself all in the same day. It’s making me physically sick. I’ve even considered eating meat again (first time in 2 decades) because I know it would make me sick. I’m all about punishing myself because “I should know better” and be able to pull myself out of this by myself. I shouldn’t need to rely on strangers to hold my hand through the pain. I shouldn’t need to be this dependant on others. I shouldn’t need

Back to needs… I saw a post today on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

According to him, there are basic needs all humans must have met in order to move through life. I have a few of those going: food, shelter… but I have to stop short of safety. Physically, I’m generally safe (except from myself). Emotionally however, I’m finding very little safety either within myself or from others. It’s something I struggle with daily. It’s something I started to have with De, but that got pulled. I would love to say I have it with my family, but triggers are rampant. I’ve traumatized too many people, and been too traumatized by people. I constantly see hurt and threat around every bend, even if it’s created by me…

2 years

According to WordPress, this is the second anniversary of my blog. Really? 2 years already? The writing has gone downhill, but I’m still here bothering the heck out of you all. Thank you to those that follow or read. Hope it has been at least somewhat interesting, and hope the writing improves again soon. Pieces, SJ

losing understanding

Recently (like in the last 4 months or so), something weird has been happening to me when I get stressed, mostly when I start to dissociate: I can be listening to someone, but what they say suddenly no longer makes any sense. I can understand the individual words they are saying, but cannot put meaning to the sentence or sentiment. It most recently happened in my last therapy session. TL was asking me questions, and I couldn’t understand what she was saying. I told her this, and she suggested that maybe she was being too abstract in her dialogue. Since I have not worked with her long, I kinda just went with it (maybe she is and I’m just stressing a lot in session). But this wasn’t the first time it happened to me. It has happened before with De also, and sometimes it happens when I’m talking to people about other random things. I can hear the words, I can know I know their individual meaning, but I can’t string those meanings together to get the full gist of what the person is saying. It’s very frustrating.

Has anyone else had anything like this? It’s kinda disturbing…

The hunt for med records (fun times)

I decided to try to track down my complete medical records for my own information. I’m tired of having incomplete answers for new providers when they ask what had worked or not worked and why. The problem is, when you have a mental health diagnosis of any kind,  it’s arbitrarily up to whomever holds the records whether or not you are able to even see said records, forget get a copy of them. The excuse is that it “may negatively impact [my] mental health” to see some of the information.  I understand concerns around information, but I would prefer that determination to be made by myself when I am trying to coordinate my own care. So I’m sitting here in the social security office hoping that the manager decides I’m ok to get a copy of my full records.  I know why I applied for disability. I know my list of diagnoses over the years, I just want to be able to advocate for effective treatment… and hopefully I can get to a place where I can reliably work again.  But in order to do that, I need to get some more intensive and specific treatment going. :sigh: such a process.

I think regardless of one’s diagnosis, a person should always have the right to see their full medical record… but I guess that’s just my opinion. Going on hour 2 waiting at the local social security office… (Trying to also figure out what in my record allowed them to so quickly approve me for ssdi, as most people I have spoken to were denied the first few times around. I’m certainly happy they did it, but what in my paperwork made it so glaringly obvious that I can’t work at this time, other than my millions of hospitalizations and spotty recent work history)…

UPDATE: so after 2.5 hours of waiting, I was able to get the paperwork going for them to make a disc of all my records used in my determination, plus anything they may have gotten afterwards.  They did not seem to give me a hassle around the request, and the information should be ready for pick up by Monday or so.  I hope it will be the complete records as they have them, and hope that it will help me some in figuring out next steps for treatment.  I’m really tired of this emotional roller-coaster.  I want to find something that works, and throw myself head-long into it so that I can move past all this and get back to living… because this limbo is exhausting.

how do you figure it out?

how do you ask for what you need when you have no real idea what that is?

I’m floundering, and I don’t know what to do… 😦

just lost

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m so lost. I don’t know how to ask for what I need, or even what I need… I thought I asked for more help, but apparently that came out as “it’s ok to go more than a week between sessions…”

Of course, there are no real options for additional help here. I’m limited. I know what I don’t need, but I don’t necessarily know what I do need. There’s this vague idea in my head that more intensive therapy would help, but there’s no way to access it, or any place nearby that I could afford… It’s so frustrating.

I feel totally alone right now (I know I’m not, but I don’t know how to reach out, or what to ask for, or even why I should be asking anything at all). I don’t want to do any of this anymore. I’m so tired. Nothing ever gets better for long. The things that are the most popular suggestions don’t work for me, everything else is nearly impossible to access.

I’ve had flashbacks that don’t go away for the past week… I don’t know anymore how to make them go away. I do the grounding, I do the coping skills off that stupid list, I try to breathe, I try to remind myself it’s just a memory… but nothing works.

I reach out, but apparently I’m reaching out to all the wrong people. none of this is worth it anymore. I’m so tired of struggling and getting nowhere. I’m tired of crashing. I’m just so tired of all of this. But there’s nothing to do. Nothing makes any meaningful changes… I’m just… done. I want it all done.


yesterday’s appointment with TL was much better than the first.  There was a ton of anxiety leading up to it, but I sat it through and met with her (albeit about 30 minutes late because there was a miscommunication amongst office staff).  I was able to give her the stuff I had meant to read her that first time around, and then we talked about some more history (specifically, the brief, cliff-notes version of the stories behind the flashbacks).  She was able to make me feel a bit more comfortable in sitting with her.  I can see her being a bit intense at times, but hopefully we will fall into a balance there.  She was quick to tell me that we didn’t have to talk about what it was that was bothering me, but I found my voice enough to ask for a few more minutes to build up to talking. She seemed to take it in stride.

The hour went by too quickly again, but I let her keep the list.  I hope it helps some. We also switched up the schedule some.  I was going to ask if she had anything earlier in the day (because waiting all day builds too much anxiety), and she was hoping for something earlier also, and on a different day.  We settled on middle-of-the-day Thursday, though that will mean a week and a half between session at a time I should be asking for shorter times between session… Oh well.

I left there emotionally raw and super tired.  I came home with enough energy to fix the bed (had started washing the sheets earlier in the day) and collapse into it.  I took something to help me calm down and sleep, and I am still feeling the effects at 1:30 the next afternoon… I guess this is ok for now.  I guess being drugged-up and only partially feeling the flashbacks is better than the alternative of full-on flashbacks all day… I really need things to change though.  I really need something helpful to get me through all this because it’s exhausting in so many ways…


5 days of relentless flashbacks that get progressively worse, these last two days I caved and took ativan to help the intensity. They are still here, but in the background somewhat. Did things I never do: called a crisis line (not just the chats) more than once. Admitted the flashbacks to mom. Sent texts to a resource I never seek out… I have gone through my gamut of healthy coping skills. I have tried them again and again. The memories that are coming up need to be voiced to someone trained to hear them, to know what to do with them, to help me set them aside.

These need to end soon.  I’m so spent. Someone on an online support forum suggested contacting TL and asking for an earlier appointment. Aside of the fact that she pretty much made it clear she won’t see me before my time on Tuesday, I’m not sure what she could do to help. I don’t think she has experience in this. and if she asks me what I think would help, I am not sure I could tell her anything other than to hear them, and help put them away. she better not ask me how to help put them away because I have no idea…

I hate when memories have their own time-table. This stuff was supposed to be saved for a time when I have longer with a therapist, and for someone who knows what to do with it all. For when I have more accesses to supports… but flashbacks and memories have a life of their own. Fuck.


“leave the treatment up to the experts”

Ok, so I have heard that statement on more than one occasion from a therapist, doctor, or other “professional” I have just met, or (most recently) from my wife’s new therapist who has never met me, nor does she know my story…

It’s a phrase that really bothers me, because it invalidates any insight or experience I may have with any previous treatment. It invalidates my wife’s experiences with my past treatment, and it pretty much makes me feel like shit about myself. It’s based on snap judgements over incomplete information… The rational part of me knows that it’s based on prejudice and little knowledge of the individual. But then there’s that little kid in me who is terrified that I am as broken and hopeless as many make me out to be.

While I understand that I am seeking help from some of these “professionals”, I’ve also have had a great deal of time and experience with the treatments they are suggesting, and they have not worked for me. Why does a client’s self-assessment and prior experience count for nothing with some of these people? I’m educated in my treatment options, both personally and professionally. I have probably been in therapy longer than they have been practicing, and have tried SO MANY approaches, I have a decent idea of what works and what does not… I have a paper trail from previous providers 10 miles long of what works and what doesn’t. Why does that mean nothing to these people?!

Would a statement like that bother anyone else? Am I blowing it way out of proportion? When I encounter it, I am made to feel like I should bow to their superior knowledge and skill-set without question or opinion. It feels totally invalidating to me. And there’s never a discussion around why I feel that a particular method of treatment won’t work. It’s left at “I’m the expert and you need to do what I say”… UGH!

So far, I have switched from everyone that has said something like that to me. Therapy is supposed to be a team effort. If they can’t even listen to or respect what I have to say on treatment options, what’s to say they will do that with other things I tell them??

I have found a good number of professionals that are not like that, but the ones that are make me hesitate to reach out when I need to. They have me second-guessing myself and feeling like a hopeless wreck. I really don’t need any help in that department lately, thanks.

Sorry, guess I just needed to vent on that…

The trouble with reaching out…

… to someone you don’t know too well is that they make judgements… I feel like such a tool. Really want to cancel with this new t and never return…
I know she has no idea how difficult it was for me to reach out and call, but… ugh. Back to not feeling safe in interacting with her… I’m feeling very judged. I don’t like that feeling. It’s very uncomfortable. :/

a safe space for shame

I really miss De sometimes. I miss having someone I trust to talk to (even if it was frustrating at times).  I miss feeling safe with her, knowing that even the really shameful stuff hadn’t changed her opinion of me (she said it hadn’t and I believed her despite what my head was saying at the time).  I miss having a safe space to let out the shameful stuff, because so much is surrounded in shame… I miss being able to write about what was bothering me, and know that she would read it.  We would address stuff as needed, but I was able to communicate in ways other than simply speaking (where I often get tripped-up).  I think I can bring myself to ask for that with TL, but not sure she can accommodate it…

De & I had gotten past the awkward “getting to know you” stage.  We actually did some work.  She heard, read, and held stuff that I had not ever told anyone else.  I felt safe enough with her to take an honest look at what I was getting out of the crisis cycle I tend to fall into. I felt safe enough not only to write it out, but to share it with her.  I learned something from all that shameful sharing… and I got some measure of relief from it.  There’s some weakness with secrets that saps their power when they are shared.

Stuff definitely came up that we didn’t get a chance to cover, or that I didn’t feel finished with, but at least it was safe enough to start on it.  I’m not sure how long it will take to get to a similar point with TL.  I wish I could say that all that shameful and difficult stuff could be set aside until after the move, but it still haunts me.  It’s itching to be addressed. It floats through my head, and comes back as incredibly strong tidal waves of emotion. I don’t know what to do with it at first. It catches me off-guard, and I don’t know what it is while it’s happening.  I’m getting better at identifying it in hindsight though.  Sadly, that doesn’t help in the moment. I still get bowled over and sent flailing when it happens (case in point, last night with TL).

So yeah, I miss De a lot. I wonder how she is doing, and if she likes her new job, or if she regrets her change in focus. I wonder if I’ll ever bump into her before I leave the state (doubtful, since I don’t often go downtown). I wonder if she’s happy to not have to deal with me anymore.  I feel like such a bother so much of the time.  I’m sure there’s a measure of relief for her.

It’s weird, because I have never really missed a therapist this much.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt this type of transference, and to this degree… well, scrap that, maybe with JJ & JF way back in the day… but that was easily 15 years ago.  I haven’t felt this way about a therapist in a long, long time.  J (couple’s therapist) was different. There was a very definite sexual attraction (on both L & I’s ends) because she’s a really attractive, confident, and personable woman.  I know that even L’s therapist had said that most people were attracted to J not only for her looks but her personality.  She has this air about her that draws people in, and they want to spend time with her.  So yeah, the transference with J was very different.  The stuff with De was more parental, then changed to younger sibling.  I went from her feeling like a safe care-taker, to feeling like a safe person I wanted to take care of. And it has not faded yet. I’m desperately searching for that safe base again. I wish it was easier to find.  I wish the places I looked for it didn’t trigger me so heavily… ugh! it’s all so frustrating.

I really want to be ok trusting TL.  I want her to turn out to be someone I can work with while I’m still here. I’m tired of simply biding my time.  I hate the flashbacks and the anxiety and the depression. I hate the struggles with the urges to self-destruct.  I need to get over them.  I’m sure it won’t happen completely in the time I have with her (it hadn’t happened in all these years of therapy, why would now be different?), but I need to try.  I think opening the door on some of that stuff with De increased the urgency I feel in needing to address it.  I was looking through my entries to De, and I think there’s a more recent one that I really want to share with TL because it explains so much of what’s going on right now for me (or at least the motivations behind all of this).  I just hope I can gather the courage to not only go back, but to also read it to her.  It’s a giant package of embarrassment wrapped in shame and padded with guilt.  If I can get past all the defenses around it, I think it would be really good to attend to it.  I just need to find the courage to face it with TL (again, that urgency to talk about all this stuff.  I don’t know if it comes from the deadline to our work together, or from knowing that I have carried it for so long). I really need to share it and look at it for a change.  I had shared it with De, but we didn’t exactly do anything with it other than me answer a few of the questions she had… and then we got into some details about where the roots of those feelings might lay, and it morphed into dealing with the memories and feelings admitting all that stuff brought up, instead of addressing what was written).

I feel like if I could find the courage to tell TL that stuff also, we could look at it, and maybe help me break out of this really self-defeating spiral I tend to get caught in.  I’m a believer in the idea that stuff comes up when you are finally ready to deal with it (well, at least when it comes to insight into behaviors).  I think I’m ready to deal with this, but I need to do it now, immediately, or I will lose the motivation.  At least, that’s the way it feels.  And I really need to know I can share it with another human being, talk about it openly, and not be overtly judged for it.  I know even the best clinicians have initial judgements, but it’s what they do with them, and how they deal with them that allows for a feeling of safety.  I know I jump to conclusions and judgements about others, but I am able to talk myself into a point of greater understanding and empathy after that impulse thought… would be great if I could put that to work for myself also.  Someone recently reminded me that we can be our worst enemies much of the time.  I know I certainly am one of my biggest critics at this point, and I judge myself infinitely harder that I would any other person on this planet.  It’s not because I have to be held to higher standers out of any inkling of “betterness”, but because I am so far below every other being on the planet that I must have higher standards if I am ever to even remotely get close to “normal, deserving human being” status… it’s something I hope to one day be able to work on successfully in therapy.  I know there have been times in the past that I was not this hard on myself, but those are hard to come by.  My default always seems to be self-deprecation and worthlessness to an intense degree.  De had pointed it out to me one session. She reminded me that I tend to get to a point of such all-encompassing worthlessness when I hit bumps in the road, it will take a lot of work to leave it behind.  She’s right.  I get there hard and fast at the slightest sign of stress.  I’m sure it hinders therapy often…

Anyway, I totally got side-tracked here.  My brain is slowly turning to mush at the moment, so I need to sign off.  I’m wholly impressed if you made it through all that.  I may have to come up with an award for that accomplishment. Maybe the “I can follow SJ’s rambling and tiresome posts” award… hmm…

“How do you experience dissociation?”

This question came up in an online support forum, so I thought I may as well put my response here too.

Most often when I dissociate, I space-out and feel like I’m either miles away behind my eyes, or in a dark space that is safe. I speak much slower (or at least it feels that way) and I have trouble responding to people and things around me. My processing slows down, and I often will ask someone to repeat whatever they said. Sometimes I get lost in a memory. Other times I watch things happening from a corner of the ceiling. Occasionally (more often when I’m under a lot of stress and feeling overwhelmed), I completely lose time. I appear to act and function normally to the people around me (even my wife had no idea I was “gone”), but may be more clingy than usual. I tend to seek out help when that happens, but I have no memory of anything. Recently, I lost 2-3 hours that way, but in the past it has been days or weeks. Grounding is very difficult for me whenever I dissociate, and I almost always need help with it. When I dissociate in therapy, I guess it’s mostly the spacing out kind because my therapists have been able to notice and ask me about it. I can generally answer their questions, but I feel really separate from my body. The things I am saying don’t feel like they are coming from the part of me that has drifted off, but the part of me that knows what I “should” be doing or saying, kinda like being on autopilot as the “good, smart girl”. If they ask about where I am though, I don’t necessarily know how to answer them.  On rare occasions, I can admit to my therapists that I am on auto-pilot and not necessarily connected to what I may be saying to them. The last 2 (D and De) were able to get me to speak more honestly with them at times like that, but that’s relatively new (I’ve only noticed that in the past 2 years, it’s like an aware dissociation… I’m not sure how to describe it)… ~SJ

I’d like to open it up to others if you are interested, please comment on how you experience it. I’m finding from the responses on the forum that while there are some similarities, everyone seems to be a bit different.

well, that was… triggering.

Went to meet with new therapist, L (not to be confused with wife L, but since I don’t know L’s last name, I can’t think of any way to differentiate her… maybe TL for “therapist L”?). Anyway, met with her last night.  It was pretty uncomfortable in terms of room set-up (gotta love the ironically closet-like therapy rooms at the LGBTQI services center… and the awkward chair placement in that particular room: face to face and only about 2 feet apart). Aside of feeling like my personal space was being invaded, I felt like we were all over the place in terms of what we talked about.  I spilled a lot more than I had intended, and about things I hadn’t really wanted to focus on, but I was unable to lead the conversation (too anxious) so we went where she took it.  I’m not sure how much of the info from De’s conversation with the Clinical Supervisor got passed to TL, but she didn’t really seem to know much.  I know the intake I had done was very bare-bones in terms of info, so even if she had that to read, she didn’t get much from it.

It wasn’t a very chronological or organized first session.  I think I would have liked it better if it were, more like a second intake where I could have gone over more of the basics before getting lost in all the other stuff.  I wish I would have said more about the termination with De, and all the loss that is wrapped up in it, but we got side-tracked on my mention of the huge multiple-anniversary date that had been the previous day (Monday).  We talked a bit about the self harm stuff, and the suicidal thinking. I tried to explain that it’s a reflex reaction for me, that there are almost always thoughts and a plan, but rarely ever intent.  She asked about previous attempts: how many, when, methods… all the basics they always ask around that stuff.

We got a bit off onto the topic of previous hospitalizations and how they were experienced.  It all started to stir more negative feelings in me, but it was still manageable.  Then she brought up safety contracts.  I’m not 100% sure why I react really badly to the signed paper contracts, but I think it has to do with previous experiences of them leading to involuntary hospitalizations (or maybe that they were only really ever done around the times I had to go inpatient, and I don’t feel like this is one of those times). I tried to explain my anxiety.  I tried to explain that I would be fine talking about safety planning; that the paper version really hikes my anxiety, but I was my usual, verbally inarticulate self.  It felt as if everything I said was coming out wrong.  I felt like I was speaking a different language.  I knew why she was likely going to push the topic (being an intern, there’s lots of paperwork that must be done, and stuff that needs to happen because of liability issues), but I couldn’t get out of my own way to get past the anxiety around it.  She had asked if I cared if she left the room to go get the paper, or if I had wanted to write one up there.  I thought nothing of her leaving the room to get it, so I said it didn’t matter to me.  I made sure to tell her that when I say “it doesn’t matter”, I truly have no preference in the moment.  She asked again before she stepped out.  I should have taken that as the universe giving me a chance to bypass a hugely anxiety-inducing experience, but my awareness wasn’t there at the time. Live and learn I guess…

She returned shortly, and we began to fill out the paperwork.  I was having difficulty concentrating on what she was trying to ask me. Had I been more in-tune with myself, I would have been able to notice I was starting to get really triggered.  I should have said something to her, but I didn’t realize the beginnings of the emotional flashback that was about to hit hard.  I just knew I was uncomfortable with the paper form of the safety contract, and we had already talked about that.  Anyway, there was a piece of information she needed for the paper, but we were unable to find it on my phone. She stepped out a second time.  This time it was longer… My panic started going up again.  She popped her head back in and said it would be a moment longer, but she was coming back (at this point, I thought I was just anxious about how long I was keeping her over our hour scheduled time.  We were running into 35 minutes over, and we still had most of the paper to fill in).  Again, I wish I had seen it earlier and simply asked her to return to the room at that time.  If I had, I may have been able to give voice to the real anxiety behind everything that was going on.  Unfortunately, I didn’t figure it out for several hours after I left.  In the end, we filled out the paperwork and she reviewed it with me verbally.  She (unknowingly) mentioned a community resource that I have had really crummy experiences with, and I think that tipped me into full-on panic.  I wanted to bolt from the building and never return.  I held my impulse to run in check though, because I was afraid she would call the police if I left before I was given permission to do so (again, emotional flashback to past situations, but I didn’t realize it at the time).  I made another appointment for next Tuesday for the same time.  I hurried myself out of the building (just about running down the stairs after I was sure she couldn’t see me anymore).  I got to the car shaking and wanting out of there fast.  I drove home in a panic.  It took everything in me not to want to call and cancel immediately after I left.  We had been there 2 hours, and it ended with me in full-on “flight” mode.

Prior to leaving, the really broken part of me apologized to her.  She seemed to think it was for going over by so much time (which she didn’t seem to mind and kept saying the first session often times goes over). I didn’t know how to tell her I was apologizing for not only taking so much of her time, but for presenting how I did; for simply existing… I wanted to ask her not to hate me, not to think badly of me.  The angry, defensive teenager in me was briefly replaced by the scared little 5-year-old…  but then the teenager came back and stayed for a while.

In talking to L, I was able to realize that most of my reaction to the session was emotional garbage from the past.  The memories were not immediately apparent, but the emotions were very much present and coursing.

Later on that night, I left a message on the agency’s general voice mail asking if TL could call me back. I had the intention of telling her my reaction and my fears about going back for next week, but I am not sure I want to have that conversation at this time.  I go back and forth between letting her in on my experience of yesterday, and asking for either additional support from her if she has the availability, or a referral out to some other type of additional support.  I don’t really want to lose the option of an individual therapist at this point, but I think I need more than once-a-week sessions.  All these transitions are very difficult. I’m having trouble even getting out of bed in the mornings.  I didn’t “get up” until almost 2pm today, and I am already tempted to return to the comfort of my little nest a mere hour and a half later.  I’m exhausted. I’m emotionally tired, and it’s making physically doing anything equally tiring.  I don’t even really want to talk to anyone at this point.  I have no energy to find words to communicate with others.  I’m stalled on any art. I’m actually surprised I was able to write this blog entry (though I have to admit I was interrupted a number of times while writing it).  I’m cooked.  And I am not sure I actually want this lady to call back, or if I’d rather just slink away from therapy (right, coz that would be a good idea after admitting I would benefit from more support, not less.. brilliant SJ, brilliant…). I think I’m afraid I left a bad first impression.  I’m afraid she is currently asking her supervisor to transfer me to someone else.  I’m afraid she thinks of me with the same judgement I think of myself… She gave me no indication of it in session (in fact she challenged some of the judgements I voiced about myself, but I wasn’t really in a place to take that in when she did)…

So that’s where I am with that.  Part of me really wants her to call back, part of me hopes she doesn’t so I can use that as an excuse not to have to open up to trusting someone else; an excuse to run away… ::sigh:: I’m a pain in my own ass so much of the time. :/

bit of anxiety

I have to admit, as relieved as I was to get the call yesterday from this new therapist, I’m starting to get a bit anxious over tonight’s appointment.  Will I be able to talk? Will I say what I need to (or communicate it in some way)? Will she really be nice, or as judgemental and scary as that one lady I interviewed with when I first moved back here – the one who wanted me committed based on my history alone?  Will I be misunderstood because I have such trouble articulating what I mean? Will she have patience for me as I struggle to say things “right” on the first try?

I keep reminding myself to breathe.  I’ve done this before, and even when things didn’t go great, I made it through each time.  I think part of my fear is rooted in my desperation for support at this time.  I feel hopelessly alone despite having my mom around, and my wife over the phone.  I worry about judgement from everyone, and I worry about worrying them.

I wrote out a huge list of stuff I wanted to make sure to tell this new clinician at some point. It was originally going to be a list of stuff to cover today, but it’s too big, too much.  I’m pretty sure I know how this first meeting will go in terms of what we cover.  The intake was pretty sparse, so I am sure she will want to fill in some gaps.  There will be the usual paperwork and confidentiality covered again.  Hopefully she will cover boundaries if I can’t ask about them (I worry a lot about crossing them, and I worry about being bothersome to people)… we won’t have time to cover everything, especially if I get off-track with something (I’m really good at changing topics when something makes me nervous or ashamed). I think I should probably warn her about that, and the huge amounts of shame around everything…

Ok, breathe. It will be ok.  And if I don’t click with her, it’s not the end of the world (even if it feels like it)…

New therapist called

She called tonight. Gonna meet with her tomorrow. She sounds really young, but nice enough in the 3 minutes she talked to me over the phone. I hope they remembered I asked for an intern that would stick around past August…
Hope tomorrow’s first meeting goes well.

time passing

7 years. 20 years. 5 days… time passing incredibly slow, and incredibly fast.  20 years with a loss of a safety net.  7 years to the loss of all hope.  5 days… :/  none of this was supposed to happen. it’s all borrowed time.

20 years feels like 2 minutes. 5 days feels like 5 lifetimes.  the 7 years just marks the passage of borrowed time. it all just marks the passage of time.  none of it matters, yet it matters so much…

Safe & Sound

This song makes me cry… I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics till it came on my playlist last night, and I couldn’t stop crying…

I long for that feeling of safety again.  I briefly had it with De… Never had told anyone a lot of what she heard/witnessed, and she did so safely and supportively when I really needed it from her (though not all of the time, but she did the best she could)…


sorry I have not been around in a while.  things have been very overwhelming, and I have not had the energy to censor what I write enough to make it ok for the blog.

On Tuesday I said goodbye to De.  It was anti-climactic. I didn’t say all I had wanted to say to her in person, and when I left, it was the same as every other exit, only this time she didn’t say “see you in a few days” or “see you next week”.  She just said “goodbye”.  I really hate goodbyes.  I hate the finality of it, and how it feels like a part of me is ripping out when it’s someone I have grown to trust.  Of course, this goodbye has been infinitely more difficult than many other ones.  It’s been compounded by other losses, by impending changes, and looming anniversaries.  And it has become totally entangled in a 20-year-old loss that was apparently never sufficiently addressed.  It still has not been addressed, nor will it necessarily be looked at any time soon.  I had hoped not to have to find another therapist before the move, but I can’t be in this limbo state without support.  I had gotten an intake at the agency we saw J though.  That was 2 weeks ago.  I called the intake coordinator on Wed of last week for an update.  He had said that I was going to be assigned to someone that day, and they will call by the end of the following week.  I wish I could have asked if it could be sooner than that time, but I was having enough time forming an acknowledgement of what he said that I didn’t feel like pushing my luck with being able to talk without crying again.  I really need to connect with someone.  I need to have that place where it’s ok to not be together all the time… and I need to process this loss and some of the stuff that came up right before I ended with De.  I don’t necessarily want to process those memories with someone I will only be seeing for a few weeks, but they are nudging at me in my dreams.  When I do manage to sleep, I wake anxious and in a sweat.  I don’t remember my dreams, but I know they are frightening.  My heart is still racing and I gasp awake.  It’s really not a fun feeling.

In hopes of getting myself active this weekend, I had made some plans.  The only thing I followed through on was the art journaling workshop on Thursday evening.  It was really fun, and the place is amazing.  I wish we had found it before making the decision to leave the state.  Yesterday, I was supposed to hit up two separate BBQ’s for the 4th.  One was over at one of L’s former co-worker’s place, the other was supposed to be with a childhood friend.  I couldn’t stop crying yesterday though, so I opted out of both.  My friend called me on it, but gave me a pass for the day. I have a feeling L may have called her and asked her to bug me about going out, because she had no reason not to belive I wasn’t feeling well yesterday… L denies it, but I dunno… she has done it in the past. Anyway, I stayed home from both.  I tried to do something productive, but I couldn’t do anything.  I stayed in bed for the night. Luckily, we live in a neighborhood of firework-happy households, so I caught a good portion of one neighbor’s display from my bed.  I went outside to the back and just turned in circles watching all the other ones people were setting off. There was also the fireworks from 2 towns visible from the backyard, so I had a 360* fireworks spectacular.  I know a lot of people with PTSD find this to be a really difficult time because of the noise.  I guess I’m lucky that mine is not triggered by this.  Start yelling around me or suddenly walk into a room and I will jump out of my skin, but set off fireworks and I will watch in awe…

Today was much the same lazing around, spent bouncing around from one un-started project to another, and generally being lost.  I should have returned some of the stuff I purchased on Thursday and Friday, but I didn’t have the energy to go out.  I fixed a bracelet I had strung wrong the first 3 times, and that took a good 2 hours.  It pretty much wiped me out.  I feel like a slacker, but I just don’t have the mental energy to do much.  I’m hoping I will get myself out tomorrow to return that stuff, because I really should not have spent all our money.  I also kinda want to go to a beach, but it’s weird by myself.  I don’t like to just sit there, and it’s weird to just float out in the water by myself.  At the same time, there’s no one I want to go there with.  One of the MeetUp groups I am a part of will be heading out to a local clothing optional beach.  I think I would have tried that if I was not so triggered these last few weeks.  I would certainly wear clothes, but I don’t think I can handle seeing a bunch of man-parts everywhere around me (most of the people going are gay guys, as none of the lesbians in the group seem to be going).  I know most of them will be baring all… I really wish they would have picked a clothed beach for this party.

Anyway, so I’ve been overwhelmed and sad and a hot mess, and simply without energy to read or write.  I’m sorry.  I hope it lightens soon and I can pay more attention to everyone.  I really hope the new clinician calls in time to get me in next week for an appointment… I’m really feeling like I need to connect with someone on all this stuff. I don’t want to hit my breaking point again down here.

(and I really miss De disproportionately to the relationship we had.  I know it’s blown up, and I know why, but it’s not making the break easier.  L had said it was similar with J for her… I wish I had understood how it felt for her, because this really sucks, and I wasn’t a good wife around it all… :(…)

Minor updates (for consistency sake and my own record-keeping…)

The guy must have had more hours that day due to the holiday because he called around 2:30 to tell me that I was being assigned a therapist that day, and the therapist should be in contact within the week. I’m supposed to call him if that doesn’t happen… I had really hoped the therapist should have called before the holiday, but no luck. Hopefully they remember to call at all.

I got paid yesterday, so I went to an art journal workshop. It was totally worth it and a lot of fun. Sadly though, my check for the month is pretty much gone and I still have things to buy (like food) that likely won’t be happening. There are so many bills coming in, and so many people we owe money to, anything we get is gone in minutes. It really sucks.

I was supposed to go to two different cookout today, but the depression kicked my ass so I stayed home. I tried to do art, but I lost stream fast… I want to just listen to music and sleep. Yeah, that sounds nice (only had about 2 hours of sleep last night again). At least I didn’t burst into tears at the store today. That’s improvement (though if someone had talked to me at all, I probably would have)…

Anyway, that’s all… nothing to say, no energy. Don’t care right now.

Took a risk.  Called the new agency. Left a message asking about my spot on the wait list. Haven’t heard back, though I had really hoped to. The guy leaves for the day in about 15 minutes… oh well.