Monthly Archives: November 2014

Happy Tofurkey Day!

1897012_10152868130329892_2569156459545851216_nHappy Thanksgiving to all my US readers. Happy Thursday to everyone else šŸ˜‰

I’m trying to not break down in tears. I pushed myself to hang with friends this morning for “Friendsgiving”, which was good. I was able to laugh and be social. I was very ready to head home after about 3 hours however… The best part though (aside of hanging with friends), was that they set out colored pencils with a paper table-cloth so we could doodle. They are big into the Wicked Queen from Snow White, so I drew them an apple… I figured it went with the theme of the day, and with their decor.

Now mom and I made some of our own dinner, so there’s take 2 on food for the day (I swear this is more food than I eat in a week, all crammed into 1 day. Gotta love the tradition of gluttony with the excuse of it being a holiday). Just have to wait for the last of it to be cooked and I sit down for another round of stuffing myself…

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It’s just after 9pm, and I find myself cruising Netflix and hulu+ for movies that might trigger tears. The feeling of needing to cry has not left, and now I just want to get it over with. I want the tears to flow and the relief to come. I know even with the growing depression, at least some pressure would be released by crying, but it’s not happening. I can’t seem to let my defenses down long enough or fully enough to let the tears escapeĀ (though they threaten at every turn). I really need the relief. I need the break in the intensity of the emotion.

I suddenly don’t know how to cope with all this. I don’t know how to lessen the emotional experiencing right now. The more I think about the implications of some of the BPD diagnosis, the scarier it gets. I keep being reminded that individuals with BPD experience things much more intensely. I keep being reminded that it’s never a matter of lessening the emotional impact of things, but more so learning to deal with it. The prospect of that is terrifying. If I have to keep going through life feeling things this intensely, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to just learn to ride the crazy waves of emotion. I want to lessen the whole experience.

I’m not sure I can explain the intensity of the emotion. It’s more than just really sad, it’s debilitating. When anger hits hard, it’s more than just anger, it’s blow-out rage. When it’s really happy, it’s really incredibly happy. Yes, there are times when it’s not incredibly intense, but when it crosses that line, it leaps over the line and the next 10 lines after that. It’s like the difference between getting a paper cut and eviscerating yourself… Strong emotions for me are on the self-evisceration end of the spectrum, only I have no idea how to anesthetize myself for it. I know how to turn off the emotions completely, to block feeling them. I know how to put up walls and keep them at bay, but if they start to gush, I have no idea how to lessen the hurt. I have the theories and the intellectual skills, but it doesn’t help the emotions. All the learning in the world makes no sense to my emotional brain, the one that feels every emotion with the intensity of a burn victim. I know DBT and CBT are supposed to help with it all, but it doesn’t translate to the emotional side. It also doesn’t translate well to the kid inside who interprets everything as not doing good enough, not being good enough.

I’ve noticed the old “failure” tape has gotten louder and more insistent of late. It screams over everything. I’ve noticed that I need to apologize to TL when I write to her. I need to find a way to make up for being “less than”. I’ve noticed that I cannot bring myself to easily tell her that I need the weekly appointments even though I really feel like I need them. I feel this need to “be good” and muddle through the two weeks between sessions. I need to do this because I don’t want to disappoint TL. I need to manage within her boundaries, even if they are just my interpretations of her boundaries. I’m aware that a lot of this is a reflection of the transference I feel around her, only I’m not sure if I can or should try to talk to her about it. We have only about 3 sessions left at this point. If I wasn’t about to terminate with her, I might consider addressing all this, but I’m confused about the value of it if we are ending. I guess there would be value in talking about it at least in so much that then I could more easily talk to the new therapist about it (or it may be more easy to spot if I tell her about it? and easier to help navigate it?). I don’t know. I guess I should talk to TL about this. It’s really difficult though. It’s the battle between the old learning (the child inside) and the new learning. I struggle to quiet the child and make her feel safe so I can implement the new learning. It’s most certainly a struggle.

I’m realizing again that TL managed to afford me a measure of balance that I hadn’t found before. I can’t seem to allow myself to attribute the balance to any changes within myself, so I have to call it something with our interactions or how she relates to me… I don’t have enough faith in myself to believe I could accomplish something like that myself, it has to be the other person…


Insomnia

I’m so tired, but I just can’t sleep. Every little noise is jolting my brain back into action. I tried a relaxation track, but even that is annoying. I’m too annoyed to get into the guided meditation (hearing her voice is spurring on a sarcastic diatribe about how ridiculous her wording is). It normally helps, but not tonight.

I’ve noticed the past few weeks that my anger and annoyance is set to high, and my tolerance seems low. I snap at the slightest irritation. I really dislike this about myself. I’m trying to be more conscious of it and stop the reaction. So far I have only managed to feel shitty closer and closer to the outburst; I haven’t been able to curb it yet. I’m noticing it gets worse the less I sleep. Tonight is off the charts (though mostly in my head)… I really hate myself when I get like this. It’s a battle I need to win, because this angry and impatient person is not who I am.

I promised a friend I’d help him pack later. The less I sleep, the less I want to go there to help out. I know I will still go because I would hate it if someone bailed on me last-minute, but it’s going to take lots of coffee and breathing to get me through the experience. I really just want to sleep. I want the break for my head. I want to stop thinking, and just rest. A drug-induced sleep doesn’t feel restful or I would be racing for the benadryl (I had enough of that with the vertigo, it clearly made no difference)…

Ok, just have to breathe and try to rest. I can do this…


hormones + depression + changes + holidays = holy f***ing rollercoaster!

My moods have been all over the place for the past several days. I go from being fine, to uncontrollably tearful, to angry, to really sad, back to fine all without warning. I know it’s a combination of a lot of stuff, but it’s kicking my butt. Add to that some random little disappointments, and then stress over one of the dogs’ health and I’m a hot mess.

I’ve been trying to remain social. This weekend I went with mom to a gallery opening. I went despite really losing motivation as the time wore on that day. I went because TL had urged me to force myself to follow through on plans even if I didn’t want to in an effort to stave off a crash (or at least lessen the blow of it). I went because mom was actually excited to go, and I went to support a friend who has work at the gallery… It was good. My friend ended up selling a piece (at the point that we left, I believe it was the only sale of night. There was still about hour to go, so I’m sure other sales were had). I met up with someone I knew from one of the journal classes and we exchanged info to be able to keep in touch. Then, on the way home, I was able to pick up some quality frames someone was throwing out after a move (yes, I went “dumpster diving” because when you are broke, you do stuff like that, especially when it’s nice stuff that will just end up in a landfill). There were 5 in all, one of which is a nice Rembrandt reproduction that my mom is in love with. So, happy friend, happy mom, and new acquaintance all added up to a positive night. I’m glad I made the choice to still go out that night.

I’ve also been trying to remain occupied. I’m working hard on TL’s piece as frustrating as it is. I’m trying to keep my hands busy with jewelry-makingĀ when not working on her piece (TL suggested constructing something instead of just painting or drawing as flowing motions are supposedly more prone to keep you in an emotion where as shorter, halting ones are supposed to help release emotion… I will have to look into this further, though it makes sense and I want to say I’ve heard it before TL mentioned it to me). I have my music on when I can. I’m trying to stay out of bed (yesterday doesn’t count. The vertigo hit hard and fast Saturday night and lasted almost all of yesterday so most of the day was spent in bed). I’m trying to do productive things around the house… I’ve been putting off the cat litter for WAY TOO LONG, but it takes so much energy. Hopefully when mom returns from shopping, she will have brought disposable gloves so I have one less excuse to not do it. My one task for the day is to clean the litter boxes… just one (ginormously, monumentally, hugely, immense) task. I can do this (I will repeat these 4 words until I finally finish the task).

TL had given the option of a session this week, and I was going to be good and try to not ask for it, but the roller coaster is wearing on me. I left a message with the agency asking if they could pass along my request for a session. Turns out that the office is closing early on Wed and will be closed through the weekend until Monday. Hoping TL has time, but I’m not holding my breath for it. She had mentioned Wed or Fri as session options, so I guess she didn’t realize the office would be closed for the holiday. It’s not an emergency, but it would be really helpful to at least find out from her if I need to look elsewhere for therapy, or if I will be switching to someone else in the office. I need to be able to plan around that some more. It’s causing way too much anxiety the way it is…

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I ended up doing the cat litter (go me!) And finishing TL’s piece. It’s not quite what I had hoped, but if I keep messing with it, I’m really going to hate it, so I’m calling it done. It’s ok if she ends up hating it because I really don’t like it myself. But I’m not going to make another one at this point. It’s too much work and frustration. And I’d need more of the supplies I used for it… I wish I had made the mountains smaller, and I dislike the climber, and I think I went overboard with the drips. I do like the embossed background, the image transfer of the woman, and the text effect (so basically I like the left side and hate the right side)… Oh well. At least it’s done. I wish it was better, but maybe next time. :(… (doing art for someone when I’m on an emotional rollercoaster is probably not the best idea in the world, especially when the perfectionism jumps up at me because I want it to be “just right” and it likely never will be. I hope it’s not to disappointing for her when she sees the finished product…
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That phenomenon of sleeping but feeling like I was awake all night…

I know I was in bed for about 5 hours trying to sleep, but it feels like I was awake all night. My brain didn’t take a break. There was no escape in sleep last night.  I think I was dreaming a lot because I remember thinking a lot about stuff. There was also definitely a lot of emotional processing (or release? Or experiencing?) all night and it feels exhausting… hoping it’s a one-night thing.


Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper w/Sarah McLachlan

Just saw this float through my fb feed… I loved the original song, but I also really like this version (very unusual for me, because I rarely like the new version if I am used to the original. The only exception to this is Hurt. I like both the NIN version & the Johnny Cash version a lot)… It might help that Sarah is one of my all-time favoriteĀ artists…

Anyway, for your acoustic enjoyment:

“Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper)

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion –
Is nothing new
Flashback – warm nights –
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after -Sometimes you picture me –
I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear
What you’ve said –
Then you say – go slow –
I fall behind –
The second hand unwinds

[Chorus:]
If you’re lost you can look – and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting
Time after time

After my picture fades and darkness has
Turned to gray
Watching through windows – you’re wondering
If I’m OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time –

[Chorus:]
If you’re lost…

You said go slow –
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds –

[Chorus:]
If you’re lost…
…Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time


distractions, gifts, and still not allowing myself to talk about what I need to

I have been throwing myself into my art lately because the holidays suck and because TL and I will be terminating soon (by the end of the year).Ā I had hoped to have TL’s piece finished for her by today, but I screwed up part of it and had to re-do it (still waiting on parts of that to dry before I can move ahead with completion). When I went in, I showed her pics of the 2 big pieces I had been working on without telling her that one was for her. Unprompted, she actually said she liked hers a lot and wanted to buy it once I finished it… I told her it wasn’t for sale and she kinda frowned a bit but then went with asking if it was just a piece for myself. I caved and told her it was a gift for her, that’s why it wasn’t for sale (I was going to avoid telling her about it in case she was going to say she can’t accept gifts)… I’m still kinda blown away that she likes it. I mean, I’m glad she likes it because it would suck if I made it for her and she didn’t, but the thought that anyone would want my art hanging in their place is kinda shocking to me… I dunno…

We also spent a bunch of time talking about what it looks like before I crash so I can step in and do something about it. I was trying to explain to her that I’m getting better at figuring out when things are headed south, but I don’t always know what to do about it. She seemed confident that me knowing the signs and then forcing myself to reach out will help soften the blow. I think it would help more if I knew what I was asking for when reaching out…

I don’t see her next week because of the holiday (though she did tell me to call by Thanksgiving if I wanted to schedule something for the day before or the day after). She’s taking that opportunity to drop us to bi-weekly sessions. That gives us 3 more sessions together. I had meant to spend more time today talking about “what’s next” after we terminate, but identifying signs of a crash, and talking about the value of reaching out took up most of our time. Maybe next session I’ll be able to get around to really talking about it. I don’t want to not have therapy at this point, so it would be great if I could switch to someone else in the agency or if she could help me find someone else, but we never manage to talk about that till the very end when we no longer have time. L pointed out that the tapering-off might be as much for her as it is for me (especially with the holidays coming up). :sigh: I dunno. I want to be good and not be too needy, but at the same time I am starting to feel the impending losses (I’m also going to acknowledge that going up north for only a weekend will suck royally. I’m ok not missing L as intensely when we just talk on the phone. I know seeing her in person will ramp that up again. Walls and denial are easier when the emotions you are trying to deny are not thrown in your face. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t miss this trip for the world, but it’s gonna suck a lot when I have to get on the plane to come back without her)… so yeah, next month will be a fun barrage of missing people… I hate that I get so attached to a therapist. I hate that I can’t bring myself to be ok talking to friends and family when stuff is bugging me. and I hate that emotions always feel so overwhelming…

I was really hoping to avoid more loss before the move, but the universe has other plans apparently. šŸ˜¦


Tweaking the piece for TL

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I really hated the way the gel transfer looked on this piece, so I peeled it off (one of the nice things about working over embossing enamel is that very little permanently sticks to it. If I dislike something, I can simply peel it off). I had to let some of the gel dry more, but that came off later with some coaxing. A few of the tissue paper pieces came off also by accident, but it turned out ok because the mountains that I painted in cover the missing pieces.

The last thing I have to figure out is where and how to put the writing. I had originally wanted to do it inside the silhouette, but it’s too textured… I also want to balance out the white in the mountains so something white will have to go on the bottom left.

Anyway… I hope I like it enough to give to TL. And I hope she can accept it (I know the agency has a thing against gifts, but since it’s made and not purchased, maybe she will take it? I’m not even sure she will like it, but whatever). I guess if she doesn’t take it I can always frame it and keep it for myself. I don’t do it often with my own work, but this one will have meaning behind it (I’ve only ever framed and hung a small handful of other pieces, one of which was a photograph. The piece I did for De was the only one that was ever given away). I did manage to find a frame I like for both of the recent pieces, just not 100% sure they will fit the frame the way I want them to. I may go back to the store with the bigger one tomorrow and see if they work. I have a 50% off coupon, but the frames might be on sale anyway which means no coupon, though I could use the employee discount…

Oh, here’s the other pieces I’ve framed and hung:


Distractions

The weekend was nice. It was the first time in a long time that I was out and about all weekend without too much thinking… it was pleasant even if anxiety did come a few times. TL would say this is huge. I’m content on saying it was nice.

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Yesterday and Sunday was spent doing art all day, both days. I was waiting for various things to dry, so I started other things. I actually did complete one piece last night. I kept the layers to paint and ink so I didn’t really have to wait for gel medium to dry. It is the second large piece I’ve attempted recently, but the first to be finished. It was done in the style of my art journal. I have ideas about how it should be mounted, but that looks to be way too expensive to make happen. I want to float-mount it inside a shadow box frame. To get a prefabricated frame big enough to fit the painting, I’d be spending upwards of $150. I simply can’t afford that right now, so I’m not sure how to even display the painting for proper pictures. Maybe if I could find some older frames that fit my needs, I could tweak them to work, but even that is difficult. Shadow box frames have only relatively recently come into fad. They are pretty difficult to find in thrift stores and flea markets. :/ maybe tomorrow I can head back to the flea market and see what I can find…

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I’ve also been working on a piece that I had intended for TL, but I’m not liking the way it’s turning out. The gel transfer at the top doesn’t look clean enough. I may just suck it up and paint in the mountains. It might also work better for the figure I will be painting in there.

On an unrelated note, the cats are being jerks. One of them is peeing on or around the couch and I can’t find it to clean it up. It stinks. Really badly. I know it’s my fault (I’m slacking on litter box cleaning and there are still lots of fleas in that room despite the blanket of diatomaceous earth)… I need to dig up that black light I have to be able find this stuff. It smells worse than a neglected kennel in here. :/


I think she’s crazy… (and a metaphor for recovery)

Ok, so aside of kicking myself for not saying what I needed to in session today, I think TL is smoking something. She again said she could picture my art selling… I dunno. I guess I don’t believe anyone would actually like it enough to buy it. I suppose I could make some to try to sell and see how that goes… I also think I will try to make her something. I have a tradition of making “thank you & goodbye” gifts for therapists. Maybe I’ll do that for her too (though I’m not sure she can accept it, I may just leave it with her anyway). The idea I have for the piece would be kinda costly, but cool at least in terms of mounting. I’m still not sure what to do for the actual piece. I have an idea of what colors to use (she keeps saying she likes the colors on one of my journal pages), but beyond that I’m stumped…

As for therapy today, I’m realizing I have a lot of resistance to dealing with the body memory stuff. I get trapped in a vortex of my own judgement and the shame that goes along with it. The words catch in my throat. Then it’s too easy to go another route and not talk about it yet again…

I can’t remember exactly what prompted the conversation, but TL explained a great metaphor for recovery. She asked me to visualize a mountain. She then went on to explain that recovery and healing is a lot like climbing a mountain range. You struggle, you climb, you hit plateaus. You have to go down a bit on your way across the range on the to the tallest peak, but you are always higher up than when you started… It makes sense. I know that even with all my crashes, I’m still not losing every gain I’ve made up until that point. It’s easier to control the skitter down the incline. It’s a softer landing and the “bottom” is still further up than it has been in the past.Ā It’s easier to start climbing again. I need to remember this metaphor. Maybe it will work its way into an art piece soon… maybe TL’s art piece. (Everest complete with prayer flags and snow and clouds… hmm…)

Regardless, I think I want to work on transitioning to a new therapist. I’m pretty sure it was all wishful thinking about being able to follow TL to a new agency because today she mentioned not wanting to have to work there long… so much for consistency. I did ask her if she thought I’d have to switch therapists again soon if I stayed with the current agency. She only said she hoped not, but she didn’t sound too sure. I hate the idea of keeping her coming back now that I’m either one of a very few clients she still sees there, or the only one. It feels like an inconvenience not because I get that vibe from her, but because I don’t like the special consideration. I don’t feel worthy of it… we also hugely ran over on time today, and it makes me feel guilty. It’s another thing I feel inconveniences her and is disrespectful to her time. I know it’s ultimately her responsibility to keep us to time, but I still feel to blame. I don’t want her to resent me for any reason…
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In an attempt to believe that TL is telling the truth about my art, I started on a larger piece today. It’s quite intimidating because I had gotten used to working small in my journal (most prior works had been larger). I’m figuring things out, trying new media and techniques. So far, I’ve gotten one layer of the bg done. I think this one will have the mountains I had mentioned earlier, though I’m not sure if they will be a focal point or simply in there as info. I think this will also be the piece I end up giving to TL (depending on how it turns out). I need a few more supplies for this however, because working on suck a larger scale would use too much of certain supplies. I think I will also need to go get a picture of mountains printed on a larger-scale of I get too lazy to paint them… then comes the frame idea. I think I can fabricate the frame on my own of I try hard enough, though it would be much easier to purchase even a custom frame for it (but really expensive I’m sure)… Anyway, here’s step one of the bg.
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not finding it

In my peruse through the archives the other day, I stumbled upon a post I wanted to share with TL, but I didn’t write down the title… Now I can’t find it or remember which one it was. I can’t even really remember what was in it other than it related to my “inner crew”. I hadn’t used very good tagging or categorization when I first started this thing, so I really don’t know how to find it. I know I had checked the stats for the day and clicked on some of the more popular titles, but then I went off after other suggested posts at the bottom of some of the entries… I wish I had printed it that day, or at least sent myself a link. :/

Anyone have an easy way to go back and tag, categorize, and otherwise organize almost 1000 entries? I get really overwhelmed trying to back-track and tag/categorize my entries when I do start. I have gone back and done it to a lot of them, but clearly not all… :sigh:


Disconnected head-space

I’m in a weird space. I spent some time floating back through the archives of this blog (I was somewhat shocked that my stats went up, so I wanted to see what people were looking at) and could not connect to anything either emotionally or intellectually. I’m really disconnected… I know I wrote it, but it feels like I’m reading about someone else. It all feels so… weird. I’m not quite sure why I don’t connect to any of it. Not the past, not my reactions to things, nothing. It’s like I’m just reading a familiar story, but it’s not mine.

ThisĀ hasn’t happened recently, and I’ve never really noticed the level of disconnect from everything till today, but it’s disconcerting. The weird feeling normally comes the day after a really disturbing dream. I can’t remember a disturbing dream last night, but I have come off of a week of being sick and having flashbacks/body memories all the time. Maybe my brain is taking some distance before it overloads.

There’s really no emotion today either. I’m not sure what that’s about. I’m flat, almost a void. Maybe more of that distance my head needs. I’m holding my breath till Wednesday. I really would like to talk to TL about a whole bunch of stuff. I’m going to try not to put too many expectations on the session though, because that always leads to a let-down. I will inevitably forget something or gloss over something or get choked on talking about something. I should probably make a list, but there’s also a plan for the session. We were supposed to put emotions to some of the journal pages (I still can’t put words to my own emotions despite being able to help others name theirs… frustrating. More stuff that I lose when I hit an emotional space). I still really want to do that. But I also want to ask her if it would be ok if I followed her to the new agency. And I want to talk about making that work if it’s ok with her. And I want to talk about the body memories. And I want to cover some of the old art journal pages that are really pretty relevent today (plus, there are some new ones… or will be by Wed). There’s also a bunch of stuff I wrote in the last 2 weeks that also need addressing. So yeah, there’s way too much to fit into an hour. I guess I’ll have to prioritize… Time to print out the journals and copy this list to have something to refer back to when I see her.


Quote – Secrets

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. ā€“ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Driftwood


Being sick sucks

I was fine until Monday night when I noticed my throat felt weird. By 3 am Tuesday morning, I was awake with severe congestion and a sore throat. By 8 am Tuesday, I crawled back into bed willing my head not to explode. I called out for today’s appointment figuring I didn’t want to get anyone else sick. It was a good thing too, because I didn’t last more than a few minutes at a time upright today. Thankfully, we had an arsenal of various cold medicines at home and I started on the ginger tea early enough. Tonight I was actually able to sit up on the couch and watch TV for about 4 hours. Ok, so I didn’t totally pay attention and I may have nodded of a few times, but I was out of bed for 4 whole hours! That’s huge compared to the last 48 hours.
Tomorrow night is the journal class, but I don’t think I’ll subject everyone to my gems. I found out from the teacher that she will be doing that particular class again at a different location, so I’ll still get to do it (about overcoming the hurdles in our lives). It sounds like a really cool class, so I’m glad I will be able to do it at another time.
I am really missing therapy though. Between the body memories from last session and the really whacky nightmares the cold meds have given me (a combination of really trippy horror-movie-style nightmares and body memories), I’m incredibly triggered but unable to ground effectively. This is the first time in a while that being sick has made things worse instead of better. Normally being sick and sleeping so much gives me a break from my head. This time is amplified everything, only I have no energy to ground or distract… I hope I’ll be able to talk about it with TL when I see her next week. I tend to go in with ideas of what to cover but I get flustered and don’t bring it up. This stuff would likely fall under that category. It’s all body memories that are shameful and embarrassing. I have a hard time addressing stuff like that…
Anyway. Not quite sure where I was going with this post and now the next round of cold meds is starting to kick in… hopefully the cold will be gone soon and I can get on with life.