Monthly Archives: March 2015

old defenses kicking in

I know I had therapy today, but… what did we talk about? I was there the whole hour… I think I knew when I had left her, but now a ton of walls went up.

I know at the end of the session, she offered me another one this week. I was really conflicted about taking it. I couldn’t voice to her why. I still can’t really put it into words. There’s a lot of transference. It’s definitely a block to me being able to speak in session with her. It’s kind of blocking me even now. I can’t remember all the reasons I had in the moment…

I think maybe there was also some worry about… I dunno. It’s all kinda just gone. Was gonna call and leave her a message telling her why I was hesitant, but I guess there’s no point now. I can’t figure out what to say. I wouldn’t know what to say in the session. Sure, it makes the days a bit easier to get through, but… 😦

I hate when my old defenses shut me off from everything. It was great when I developed it, but now it just sucks.

art journal page – “view with caution”

been working on this for a few days… still a work in progress.



Wet cement

I feel like my brain has shut off. It feels heavy like wet cement. I can’t concentrate on anything or hold a conversation for more than a few sentences. It’s jello, but I’m not sure why… maybe the lack of quality sleep is catching up to me?

containment – a penseive

Saw TM today, and it was a really good session. I had planned on going in asking her to “do” something together (game, coloring, play cards, something) and she was apparently on the same wavelength (woo-hoo!). Either last session or the session before, she had mentioned containment and having a metaphorical “place” to keep all the memories between sessions. We kinda brainstormed a bit, and she suggested the pensieve from Harry Potter lore. I liked the idea a lot. Pretty much, it’s a storage space for Dumbledore’s memories. If he wants to recall something, he pulls it out and “plays” it in the water…  It’s a very cool concept if you ask me.

wpid-20150326_220911.jpgAnyway, so we spent the rest of the session drawing and coloring one out. TM did the pensieve, and I did a person pulling a memory from their brain. Thinking back on it, it matches how our roles have worked in therapy: I pull the stuff out, and it is contained with her in her office and notes. At the end of the session, she gave me her drawing to keep with mine. I want to do something representative of it actually containing stuff, but that might wait till next session. I know the point of the activity was to help me develop a method of internal containment. Her original sketch of a box with “stuff” in it was to give an example of how to metaphorically put my stuff away. I kinda feel like this week we did the ground-work for that (creating the vessel), and maybe next week we can chat about how to actually put stuff away.

When she first brought up the concept, I mentioned my metaphorical closet, and how it used to be neat an organized (before ever starting therapy). things all had their little boxes on orderly little shelves in the very back of a large walk-in closet. These days, it looks much messier, more along the lines of Monica’s secret closet at the end of the hall. If I try to open the door (sometimes even without trying to open the door), everything comes tumbling out. I think I like the idea of the pensieve much better. It doesn’t rely on organization so much as simply storing stuff away safely. It doesn’t require much to retrieve anything, and nothing ever comes tumbling out unintended. Much safer and more practical than a closet.

It was nice to have a lighter session…

(I think I may also want to make a little pensieve model for myself, where I can write stuff down and drop it in, maybe a bit like a piggy bank for thoughts and memories… and I’m itching to do more with the extra UTEE I have… I could use it for the liquid surface of the pensieve, adding shimmery pigment to help give it a magical look… Must play!)

it would be easier if…

  • he was always an asshole
  • he was always mean and angry and violent
  • I didn’t recognize the broken human being behind the monster mask
  • I could hate him completely
  • he was never loving
  • he was never kind
  • he was never gentle
  • I didn’t feel it in my body
  • I could write it off as a bad dream
  • I could just say it was an overactive imagination
  • I could say I was making up stories
  • it never happened
  • there was nothing to remember


I feel ok today despite the heavy things that were talked about in therapy yesterday. It has me wondering if I should keep my appointment with TM tomorrow… But then I also wonder if it’s not easier to handle and contain that stuff because I know I am seeing her again tomorrow. I alternate between wanting to cry my eyes out, and being fine, but it’s not overwhelming right now.

I’m not sure. I don’t want to cancel the appointment only to realize that seeing her again to talk more about that stuff is what is allowing me to contain the emotions around it. I definitely have points of really needing to talk about it more with someone, but not knowing how to do that. I tried to explain that urge to L last night. The stuff I want to talk about is super heavy. I’m not done trying to re-frame my own world view because of it, I’m not sure I’m ready to help someone else have to re-frame theirs. Also, I’m not sure if talking about it outside ofthe relative safety of TM’s office won’t make the current flashbacks more intense. At least with TM, we work on grounding before I leave. I wouldn’t have that with L or mom.

I guess I will keep this appointment, and just not make a second one next week if it’s still offered (or I will talk to TM about my worries around it all). I know there are times I do better with more sessions in a week, but I don’t want to push my luck.  I don’t want to get comfortable with something I shouldn’t bet getting regularly.

On another note, starting to process some of this stuff has me wondering if I should try a residential program for it. I guess I can answer that question in a bit when I figure out if I can handle processing stuff at once a week. There’s a program I looked into that is relatively local, but I can’t find info on it besides what is said on their website. It is also advertised as a “luxury treatment center” which has me guessing insurance would not cover much of it at all (though my soon-to-be insurance is listed as one they accept)… They claim to work with trauma (though most of their programs revolve around substance abuse). They also have a “women’s mood disorders” program with all female clients and treatment providers. It looks like it overlaps with the trauma program… The pro’s: it’s only an hour from home, so if anything happens like insurance refusing to continue to pay, or the program doesn’t click with me, or something like that, I can come home relatively easily. It’s not a locked program, so I’m assuming they work with people not in immediate crisis… The con’s: I’ve never heard of them before, I don’t know how good they are in dealing with trauma, they will probably cost a ton and insurance will not cover most of it.

Whenever we get closer to dealing with the various traumas on an outpatient basis, my anxiety kicks in. So far, every time I have tried to deal with it outpatient, it was too triggering and I needed a higher level of care. There’s lots of fear around it. I don’t want to get to a point of needing inpatient because I am too mired in my PTSD reactions. But at the same time, I’m starting to trust TM and be more open with her. I think if I can keep my coping in check, we can get somewhere in the next month or so… It’s just a matter of maintaining my coping.

Grounding/Relaxation tools: Art of Glow

I’ve had the Art of Glow app for several years, but only recently re-discovered it (I would re-install it on every phone, but have not used it much again till this week)… It’s fun to doodle with, but it can also act as a relaxation tool.

If you set it like this:


you can hold your finger on one spot for a few seconds to create a starburst effect that slowly fades. Once it fades, it pauses then repeats the same cycle. It’s similar to watching a snow globe or a glitter ball… I love it. (wish I knew how to take video of this rather than a screenshot, but this is what my settings end up looking like when used… the stars slowly float away from the focal point until there’s nothing left on the screen, then they will replay if you don’t do anything else to it).


It’s available for both Android and Apple devices.

I just wish there was a way to save settings or “artwork” on it. It’s apparently something people have been asking for since the introduction of this app, but the developers have done nothing to accommodate the requests.