Monthly Archives: October 2014

Interesting session yesterday

After last week’s termination conversation, my anxiety was through the roof about yesterday’s session. I don’t do well with the loss of significant people, and TL has become a significant person in my life. She kinda brought it into perspective a bit yesterday though (and it made me feel a bit better about it). She asked why I wouldn’t expect to miss someone I’ve seen weekly for 4 months, and been relatively emotionally intimate with… I don’t think I explained the magnitude of the emotions I feel around this loss, but I guess I feel a bit better about the thought of missing her.
She still didn’t give me a definite time frame for the ending, but she explained the process a bit better. She said she wants me to have more control over the situation, and that she’s not on any specific restriction on ending at the agency, so I really do have more control over it than I would if she were simply ending her hours. I guess she’s slowly transitioning to another job that offers more hours from one agency (instead of her current multiple jobs), but it’s not forcing her to leave completely. It sounds like she will be offering a few of her clients more flexibility around ending.

We also talked about how I was taking things. I was able to admit that I threw up huge walls, and that I wasn’t sure what the point was in trying to tackle other stuff in therapy if I had to end soon anyway. I know part of my trouble with endings lately comes from the association I have with talking about some of the stuff from the past, and never getting beyond a certain point in dealing with it. I think the walls I put up helped me be able to admit so much to TL yesterday. Had I not had so many defenses up, I think I would have gotten lost in the overwhelming emotion around the topics we covered… it’s interesting how sometimes shutting off the emotions is actually more freeing than letting them out (at least it can be if you don’t know how to keep them in check)…

I did forget to point out to her that I don’t think she got my messages though. I had left her one specifically asking her to shred the journal entries I had given her to read last week. She clearly didn’t get it (or chose to ignore it) because she brought them out to go over later in the session. I don’t really mind because part of me had hoped she’d ignore my request. It really is all stuff I need to talk about, I’m just hesitant to talk about it with someone that’s not going to be able to follow up on it again later… Anyway, we kinda addressed it, but I was also really adept at getting her off onto a related tangent so I didn’t need to confirm exactly what we were talking about (I had left it vague in the journals, though I think she may have pieced things together)… we ended up talking shop for a good portion of the session (I swear, it really did connect to the journal stuff. We were trying to figure out what prompted the change in self-harm association and we were trying to narrow it down in time. It happened to change right around the time I went back for my masters, so we talked about that a bit)… Anyway, I didn’t end up having to tell her too much about the shameful parts of the journal… there was also a point when we were talking about something unrelated to much else, but I was hit with a very intense body memory. I couldn’t talk about it though beyond acknowledging that I was very uncomfortable.  I kinda feel bad because I think I startled her. We were talking and suddenly I jumped in my chair because it felt like someone was caressing my side. When she asked what happened, it felt really wrong to talk about it, so I didn’t say anything. I also really just wanted the feeling to stop…  we moved on to other things. I did call her and leave a message on my way home though. I hoped that saying out loud what happened and why I couldn’t talk about it in the moment would lessen the impact of it for the rest of the week. We’ll see if it actually helps (so far the feeling has only come back a few times in the last 18 hours)…

I’m again torn between really wanting to address this stuff in therapy, and wondering what the point of it all is if I’ll only get to talk about it once before moving on to a new therapist. I really wish I had the money to switch agencies (TL mentioned the name of the agency she is moving to, and I might be able to follow her if only I could afford the rates they charge – 10 times what I pay monthly now). I wish I could afford a therapist that I could stick with until I move :/ maybe I’ll ask TL if I could follow her to the new agency, and then figure out how to pay for it all. She totally deserves to get paid for her work, and I really don’t want to switch clinicians again…

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Quotes

Scars remind us where we’ve been, they don’t have to dictate where we’re going. – David Rossi, Criminal Minds

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving (Criminal Minds)


falling into the stereotypes (some of my internal processing)

I’m trying to figure something out, sorry if this post doesn’t make much sense…

Since TL mentioned termination last week, I’ve gone back and forth between putting up huge walls, and desperately wanting to talk to her again. As tomorrow’s appointment gets closer, I find myself having that regular anticipation of talking to her and happy to be seeing her because she represents a safe place and has been a relatively safe person to talk to until now. At the same time though, I’m wondering if tomorrow should be the last session because termination sucks and I don’t want to draw it out. Then I’m again bouncing back to ignoring that she brought up termination at all.

I’m confusing myself and not explaining that well… I think I’m stuck between pushing her away and denial of the termination conversation… :/

I want to go see her because she represents a safer person. I want to talk about what this all brought up, but at the same time I feel like trust has been lost and it’s no longer ok to look to her for support with anything beyond logistics of possibly being hooked up with a new therapist. I don’t know how to straighten that out in my head. Not sure how to proceed… I think my hesitation with looking to her for more support comes from knowing that it’s opening myself up again to that horrid feeling of loss and being lost. I don’t like it, I don’t want it. It’s overwhelming and (again) way out of proportion for the relationship. I have so much trouble with changes like this. I really don’t know how to handle it, and I have not been able to address it in therapy yet with any meaningful results (even after so many therapists and so many attempts at tackling all the issues)…

TL wasn’t clear on what exactly the time-frame is. She refused to answer when I asked how long she had left, and she again asked me how long I thought therapy should take… I don’t know for sure if she meant she was leaving next month, or within the next six months. I’m assuming she meant the next month because she had given one month as a reference point twice when asking how much longer I thought therapy should take.

I have a LOT of trouble with loss. She knows this, so I don’t know if she’s trying to ease into the termination conversation, or if we are just trying to tackle the loss issue. The thing is, my thinking went immediately to “f-this. she’s leaving so why bother dragging it out. no more talking, no more trusting. I’m done”. I know this is a cognitive leap, and that I’m throwing up walls without really knowing exactly what’s going on. Sometimes I can recognize this and think more rationally about it. Other times the emotions take over and I’m totally lost. I think that’s playing a huge role in the back-and-forth I have about wanting to talk to her about this more, and wanting to run away. I’m recognizing the diagnoses and history this all plays into/off-of.

I just can’t consistently figure it all out though. I don’t know how to be ok with it. I am not sure I want to take down any of the walls to open myself up to talking about this just to find out that I am right and she is leaving next month. My head goes SO dark if I try to let myself feel anything more or not take this total detachment right now. I don’t want to land back in the hospital. I don’t want to be the stereotype of my diagnoses, but at the same time, I’m finding I’m nothing but that stereotype…

Years ago, my records indicated I was hopeless and will struggle with this forever. As much as I hate the thought of that, I’m afraid they may be right. I think I live in a fantasy world that I can move out of this behavior when this stuff isn’t actively triggering me, but as soon as it’s triggered, I don’t know how else to react. I’m ashamed by it and frustrated beyond belief that I can’t seem to figure this out once and for all. I wish I could find a therapist that I could stick with, and that was consistent with the “you’re not hopeless” stance so they could remind me once in a while, but the way I fall back into all this every time loss comes up I doubt that will ever happen. It’s really crappy. I don’t want to be hopeless, but I think they are right. I think I really am. If I can’t learn to navigate losses, how the hell can I learn anything else? I think some things are just too broken to fix…


When it rains…

It feels like suddenly everything is flying out of control. I feel like I’ve already lost TL, saving money seems impossible, and now one of the dogs will need minor surgery to fix a bleed in her ear (which could have been prevented if I could find something that reliably gets rid of these damn fleas, but nothing is working anymore. I’ve gone the chemical route, the naturopathic route, combined both and still no reliable results). I don’t have the money for the surgery. I don’t have the money for the professional-grade pesticides that may or may not work on the fleas. I don’t have a way to make more money at the moment)…
It feels like absolutely everything is destabilizing, and I have nothing to grab on to. The depression is kicking my ass and making it virtually impossible to accomplish anything. I’ve kicked distraction into high gear: I have music on 24/7, I have the TV running all day (while I have one headphone in my ear), I have art projects going and games going and text conversations going and I’m on the Internet reading… all this at the same time so I don’t have much brain power left for thinking myself into a giant pit (that’s a pleasure left for nighttime when I can’t sleep. I’m down to only 2 or 3 distractions at night, so my brain takes that and runs with it).
I don’t feel like I have anyone to reach out to. L is stressing herself. TL is no longer an option. M is stressing… and, well, that’s the extent of the people I would feel comfortable confiding in. So I’m left feeling very needy, but very alone.
The tears flow a bit easier at night (pretty much every night since TL brought up termination), but they burst out on the way to get a Cone of Shame for the dog tonight (so she wouldn’t make her ear worse). I’m not sure how to handle all this. I hadn’t dealt with the loss of De yet. I don’t know how to add on processing this next loss. I know she hasn’t set a date, and I don’t know for sure when she’s leaving, but my walls have gone up with her; she’s as good as already gone to me right now. I’m not sure how to trust her with more vulnerability. We hadn’t actually addressed much of anything yet, and now there’s this huge sense of loss again. I don’t know why I bother anymore. I don’t know why I keep setting myself up for these losses. I know they always disproportionately suck (at least in the last few years). I know the endings will come sooner rather than later because I see students. It feels like I’m just torturing myself. I don’t know why I keep doing it. I need to figure out how to deal with one loss, forget about a continuous string of them… (and come March we will likely lose the house because we can’t afford back taxes). It’s just too overwhelming and too heavy. I need to stop. The only losses I can control at the moment are the losses associated with each new therapist. As shitty as it is to be without support, it’s less painful than going through this every few months. I feel as if my heart is being ripped out. We don’t get to talking much about the transference, so the loss of a safe space is compounded by feeling also like the loss of a parent… it’s just too much. I don’t want to do it anymore.


Tonight’s art journal

Not much, but didn’t want to keep the writing on these pages visible. Don’t even remember what it was anymore, just know it was pretty vulnerable so I covered over it (left was written yesterday, right was written just before I colored over it).
Also, inspiration can come from literally anything. The spiral is directly inspired by a piece of hair that had fallen into the bathroom floor this morning… the faceless woman is just… faceless. I couldn’t get the features right, so I didn’t do them (correction, I scratched them off and colored over it so you can’t really see the mess-ups). Both done in oil pastel and set with fixative. I missed them. I don’t use oil pastels nearly often enough.

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And this is an artist trading card I did for an Alice in Wonderland swap (convinced a friend to sign up for the swap just because I wanted to do it but didn’t want to register at the site). My original idea had been a paper cutting, but it wasn’t working out correctly so I ended up with this. The rabbit is based off one of my favorite childhood stories: the velveteen rabbit. I had a stuffed toy version that had the same shape, but I lost him a decade ago…

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Another transition on the horizon

So, TL reminded me that she was leaving the agency eventually. She asked how long I thought therapy should take with one therapist. I didn’t have an answer for her. She reminded me that the agency generally worked with people for 3 months then reassessed, and that I had been there longer than 3 months. She again asked how long I generally expected to stay with one therapist. She seemed to be thinking a month more, as she gave that as a reference point before asking if I thought I would need longer or shorter.

My initial interpretation was that she will be leaving the agency by the new year. A friend suggested that it may just be supervisor pressure to switch up her caseload because of a waiting list they likely have.

I’m not good with change or loss. Granted I expected to only be seeing TL for about 6 weeks before I planned to move, but I didn’t want to have to change again before the move (something I had specifically mentioned both before and during the intake). Now though, that move looks like it is postponed indefinitely…

I had a bit of liquid courage and was able to leave TL a message. I told her I had hoped to find someone that could see me through till I moved, but I understood that, since it was now an open-ended time frame, she would likely not be the person to see me through that. I reminded her trust is really difficult for me, and I asked if she could help me find someone who could provide more consistent support until I finally moved… I also may have admitted that the only reason I was telling her that was because I was tipsy (file that under things you probably should leave out of a voicemail to your therapist…).

Anyway. I again asked her to shred the reading material I had given her before I left. There’s no sense in getting started with it (or revealing any of that to her) if I will not be continuing to work with her. Too vulnerable… I’m also contemplating simply not returning to therapy at all anymore. Financially, I can’t afford a more consistent therapist (aka: not a student), and emotionally I can’t keep switching, so I should just give up till I can get back to Dr C… it’s not the smartest move with all the rampant triggers here, but it may just be the only self-preserving move I can make.

I was very tempted to cancel on TL when I left her the messages. It’s too raw. But I also know I would regret not at least saying goodbye in person, so I guess I’ll just go next week with the intention of not returning anymore after that. I know I asked TL to help me get hooked up with a more consistent source of support, but I don’t want to have to open myself up to that again. Losses are way too hard…

It’s weird, I was just thinking yesterday that so far this thing with TL was going ok, and maybe she proved my theory wrong of people letting you down just as soon as you got around to trusting them (be it leaving, or a betrayal of trust, or whatever). Guess I jinxed it right then…

There’s really been only a handful of people that hadn’t fallen into the “let me down” category (L being one)… To the rest, thanks for proving my need for distance and walls correct.


Art journal prompt: mess up a page when you like how it’s going

I was turned on to a set of journal prompts by the teacher of the workshops. I read through them (there are 10 in this set, only about 4 are actual prompts, the rest describe her process, so a good starting point for journal)…
Anyway, this particular prompt was to start a page, then when you were liking how it was going, mess it up. Paint over it, smear it, do something totally different than what you started liking… it didn’t mayer if you hated it or loved it in the end, but it’s supposed to get you in touch with the discomfort of changing something you are happy with.

I had kinda liked where the original page was going (distress stains and embossing), but I figured I’d take the risk and “mess it up”. I have to say I like the end result way better than the direction it started in. I’m finding as much as I like the concept of the the words in the pack I purchased, they just don’t have the words I’m really looking for. I guess that could go along with the “limit yourself” prompt from the set of 10 I mentioned, but… I’m finding I’m simply using them for implying words more than the actual ones on them. Anyway, I’m distracted.

It was a fun prompt. “The places you will go when the years start to flow”.
Guess I wish I could cry and get the release from the tears. Hoping the healing kicks in again whenever that happens…

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