Monthly Archives: July 2015

Labeling yourself as “needy” is shaming (or: bear with me as I write out a reality-check)

The concept of being “needy” has been a topic of conversation for me these last few days with various people.

A friend passed along wisdom from her professor: labeling yourself as “needy” is shaming, and Dr C said pretty much the same thing in different words.

Why is attempting to get needs met in the ways we know a shameful thing? Why do not only we shame ourselves for it, but others do as well?

Why is it ok to recognize labeling ourselves (as clients) as being shameful, yet (in class and behind closed doors) it’s acceptable to label a client as such? Are we (as professionals) above the concept of shaming? Or is it not shaming unless the client finds out? Is it merely a professional label until the client feels bad about it? Is this not a double standard? Why is it okay to teach stereotypes in class, yet expect those same therapists-in-training to magically shed them and gain a more empathic understanding once they work with their clients? Is it a function of the quality of the program? Or the professor? What happened to teaching non-judgemental understanding?

Is this why it’s so difficult to find good therapists (not to say they are not out there, because I’ve certainly worked with several)? Is this why clients continue to shame themselves with labels and harsh judgements when they are simply doing the best they can in any given moment? Or am I looking at all this through the lens of a scared kid and shamed client? I know I often fall back into old scripts. Is this one of those times? In reality, my last therapists have been awesomely empathic and caring. It’s been my judgements ascribed to them that have tripped me up. TM, TL, De, D, and Dr. C have all actively challenged my judgements. Why can’t I believe them? Dr C actually pretty much paraphrased one of my early posts about clients doing things “for attention” yesterday. Why do I see them as outliers? Why am I taking the judgements of mental health staff as judgements held by clinicians? I know there’s a difference most of the time…

Sorry. I’m digressing… I think I’m trying to give myself a reality check. The little kid in me (and maybe the unstable adult too) sees only the negative. The professional side of me knows better. The professional side knows competent therapists understand that their clients are doing the best they can in any given moment (even when they are backsliding or seemingly stuck). They understand re-learning (or simply learning for the first time) takes time and effort and mistakes… but that voice inside (g’s voice and the hospital staffs’ voices, and the burnt-out professionals’ voices) screams that having needs, or being vulnerable, or being hurt, or “acting out” (another shaming label) is all simply done to make their lives harder. There is no such thing as legitimate distress… and suddenly I’m hearing m’s voice screaming at the cat for throwing up (because she can’t just be sick, it’s only done to piss her off…). How strong a hold early learning and experiences have on us…

I’m triggered this morning by more nightmares and body memories. I know I could probably text Dr C, but I’m not sure what I would want from her if I did that. It’s not like she can help with any of it in the moment. I think this post is an attempt to convince myself it would be ok to reach out, but I didn’t cover how to do that without knowing what’s needed when reaching out… I just want to stop feeling everything. I can distance relatively effectively from the emotional piece, but the physical sensations are much more difficult to control. I’m not sure how to explain them. They are the precursor to the full-on flashbacks that include the cognitive memories, but they have not hit that point yet. Right now it’s just feeling things in my body again despite knowing it’s not currently happening (and being really frustrated with myself as my body responds to things as it had at the time)… :/ where the hell in all the skills they throw at you do they tell you how to rid yourself of the body memories? Concentrating on breathing only makes them worse (controlling my breathing was what I did to make him think I was asleep so he’d get it over with). Physical activity also greatly intensifies the sensations… I can tolerate them to a point, but they are approaching the intolerable point. No one ever has an effective method for getting rid of them. Well, that’s not true. I have one but it’s frowned upon. Really just wishing they were gone now, or wishing I had someone safe to sit with through them so if they do hit that intolerable point, I’m not so alone and desperate. I have to work this afternoon, but that’s not a safe place to sit through them. At least there will be dogs to cuddle if I need some immediate comfort. I’ve noticed lately I will jump and shudder if the sensations startle me with a sudden increase in intensity. I hope that doesn’t happen at work again today. I don’t want to have to explain that away… I could call it a “chill” again, but I know it doesn’t look like one as I jump up and try to rub the sensations away (boss-lady looked skeptically at me last time it happened)… Hoping if it [i]does[/i] happen today, no one is around to witness it.


I’m exhausted almost all of the time. Once I’m in motion, I can keep a semblance of continuing that motion, but if I slow for even a moment, it all hits me. After Dr C today, I came home with the intention of working on ordering the apartment. I zonked out instead. Lately, when I sleep during the day, I sleep so hard I drool. It’s kinda gross… no, it’s really gross. I don’t like it. It’s up there with boogers while crying. Icky!

But I think I’m ok to attempt more with the apartment now. I need to switch up where the art area is so that we can use the front door again…

I also have to figure out a safe way to store the art supplies so one of the dogs won’t keep eating them. I know it’s her because she chose to eat the black litho crayons… she’s white. It’s glaringly obvious when her mouth and paws are suddenly smudged with black. I was going to send these crayons to L’s godson. Guess he will be getting a much smaller box now (she ate about 2/3 of them. Punk)…

I need to keep ahead of this depression. The only reason I ended up being able to avoid iop before the move was because of the move. Now I need to keep from getting back to needing it. I want my “together and competent” life back. I’m tired of this.

Note to self: it’s ok to need

Met with Dr C today… some things to remember:
-it’s ok to have needs.
-even if that need is simply to check that she is still there (it doesn’t bother her or significantly impact her time away from the office).
-keep trying coping skills, but she is also ok with reaching out. She will respond as she is able. If texting doesn’t work, it’s ok to call her too (or ask her to call).
-it’s ok to change the topic of conversation with a friend if it’s triggering.
-try to notice the dissociation before it’s happening or as it’s happening so the trigger can be dealt with and I don’t have to keep exposing myself to it.
-Dr C will not drop me or refer me out if I’m struggling (same as last time), so it’s ok to say if I am (preferably before a crisis point, and most certainly before I need to show up at my doctor’s office or the ER bleeding out).
-I’m still miles above where I was the last time I was hospitalized, and many more miles above where I was in 2010.
-it’s going to be tough, but it will be ok.

Erring on the side of caution, how do you know when is good self-care vs being overly needy?

I hung out with a friend for a few hours yesterday. We were chatting, and somehow got onto the topic of abuse in families. She ended up disclosing quite a bit of her own abuse history. At the time it wasn’t too triggering (at least not consciously). I slipped so easily into detachment that it didn’t phase me much to listen to her talk about the generational and pervasive abuses. I teared-up a few times at the more horrific stories, but managed to remain balanced.

It’s been a slow build since. I’m noticing the body memories more intensely this morning. I had dreams that wove her stories with my own, and also included some random elements. I was as detached in the dreams as I was hearing her stories (I have to admit I didn’t really listen to what she was saying in an effort to keep it all at a distance). This morning though, the dreams are effecting me. The body memories are building in intensity, and that creeped-out, triggered feeling is growing. I’m doing my best to ground from it right now. I contacted Dr C and asked for an additional session this week. I’m not in crisis or too overwhelmed, but I also don’t want to get to that point before I see her again. L is working a bunch of extra hours this week, so I won’t really have her around to either talk to or try to balance with… you’d think I’d be better at self-regulating by now.

I just keep thinking about a concept De and I had been working on: conversation, not crisis. I want to be able to have a conversation around these triggers rather than simply reach out once I’m in a hugely panicked state. I know I can hold off the crisis for a while, but once I reach my limit, I go quickly from “functioning” to “wholly fucked-up”.

For some reason I feel a need to justify this decision to both myself and others. There’s this voice in my head deriding me for being “too needy” and saying I should be able to handle such a small trigger myself, without being so clingy and needy… I should know how to manage this myself. I shouldn’t be so helpless around this. I should be ok to go till seeing Dr C again at the end of next week. I shouldn’t start this pattern of neediness again so soon. She’ll get frustrated with me, L will get worried, I will turn into a hopeless mess if I give in at this early stage. my friend’s story shouldn’t be triggering. I have enough defenses that I should be able to get through this till I’m scheduled to see Dr C again… but there’s also this little worried whisper in the back of my head. It worries that trying to handle this trigger while still stressed from the move will be just enough to trip me into trouble. I don’t want to risk needing a higher level of care right now. I was at that point before I left, and I don’t want to get back there. I know I’m exhausted. I know I’m already stressing about so much. Dr C is ok with the extra time, so I should be ok with it also… the rational part of me is all about being overly-cautious at the moment, but there’s another part that fears reaching out and all it has meant in the past.

I’m scared of disappointing people by not being able to handle this. I’m scared of living up to the expectation that I’m just a worthless, hot mess…

So is this good self-care? Or is it being too needy? How do I know?

Weird dreams

I woke again this morning from a weird dream. It wasn’t bad, just weird. It’s leaving me feeling “off”…

In the dream, I was at the doctors getting checked out for something. There was my doctor, another student, and their supervisor. They were taking candidly about what their thoughts were. Both the students said they didn’t see anything wrong, but the supervisor commented for them to check again, because “if [he] gave [them their] reviews right there, [I] would be crying…

totally not sure what the dream means, though it’s likely nothing. I know I’m waiting on my doctor to say something about a consult she sought for my recent back/side pain, but everyone seems on the same page about it so far: it’s merely muscle pain which will eventually go away (assuming I’m able to either consciously relax the muscle, or have enough days where I can take a muscle relaxer).

Anyway, the dream has me feeling weird. It did give me an idea for grounding though: engage my academic side if I start to check out… easy enough to ask my doctor next time.

The apartment is still a wreck. I started working again, and is draining all my energy. I want to just come home and be able to relax. Instead, I come home feeling guilty for not engaging more with the dogs, and for not cleaning or organizing the place. There was supposed to be time to do it today, but we agreed earlier in the week to go to the lake with family. That means the whole day is again useless… I might just send L and stay home myself to organize and do laundry. I want to see the family, but I’m also very burnt out on the apartment remaining a mess. We have been here 2 weeks and is still mostly boxes everywhere. I want it settled. I want space to be able to come home and feel relaxed (well, at least about my environment)…

Speaking of wanting to relax, I’m quite anxious about setting Dr C again. She is back from vacation. I get to ask her if my feeling about our interaction 2 weeks ago are correct, and I can ask her more about what she meant when she called my inner kid a personality… and maybe I’ll be brave enough to give her some of the stuff I wrote out for TM. I know I don’t have to tackle that right now, but the internal push is still really huge.

Anyway, hoping today shapes up as more productive than I anticipate. Either that, or maybe we can take the dogs with and I don’t have to feel so guilty leaving them alone again all day. I’ll ask L once she wakes up.

Rough day

Yesterday was stressful. Today’s filled with anxiety and restlessness and neediness. It doesn’t help that I got my period, which always manages to mess with my emotions. It’s also heavily triggering flashbacks and body memories…

I filled out job paperwork yesterday and ended up dissociative. I also went to visit my sister in law. The visit was at once grounding and triggering. She’s pregnant. I’m both super excited about having another niece (first on my side of the family) and also freaking out about it… hanging out with her was grounding, but the concept of another baby in the family (and certain people having access to her) is scary. At least both my brother and sister in law are super paranoid first time parents; they won’t let the kid too far out of their sight.

I hate the sensations in my body. They are uncomfortable. They are taking forever getting to the cognitive memory stage of the flashback (probably because the sensations have a physical reason behind them, and are not purely body memories). It’s all really triggering. Dr C is on vacation till Monday… come on Monday…

In the mean time, I start back at work tomorrow. She wants to get me re-trained by the time she’s on vacation in 2 weeks. Gulp! I hope once I get started and into the groove there again, it will no longer be as triggering. I really like the people I work with, I just dislike the entitled customers (which isn’t all of them, so that’s good) and the secret shops. The extra cash will be really good. We desperately need the money. I just need to be able to hold it together. I don’t want to screw up the job and mess up my reputation with them. I need an unbiased outside source acknowledging I have competency in at least something. I feel so fake and lost these last few years…

Think Monday I will take some stuff I had given to TM in with me when I see Dr C. I’m hoping it will help get communication going again. I’m again feeling that internal pressure to talk about the memories, to dump it all out on someone who can help with it.


I don’t have truly scary nightmares all that often anymore. I’ll have flashbacks in my sleep that effect me, but not such eerily-calm, could-be-true-at-some-point-down-the-line, leave-me-terrified-to-try-to-fall-asleep-again-in-case-I-return-to-the-dream kinda nightmare. This one was worse after I woke up than in the actual nightmare. In it, it could have been real, and I was calm and confident (though stressed). The anxiety and fear hit only after I woke up and processed the dream a bit more. It could totally be a place I’d work…

Anyway, so yeah. Trying to calm myself enough to be able to sleep again. o_O

How’s your night going?

2am… (not the Anna Nalick song, though that’s now going through my head)

Woke up around 1 because it was too hot in here, now not able to get back to sleep. I’m stressing about our amount of stuff and where to put it all. I think a lot will head to storage. I thought we would be able to get rid of our unit, but it’s not looking like it. Even if we purge the items we have and don’t need/use, we still have a bunch of stuff.

The shipping container with our stuff from my mom’s house arrived today. I only cleared out a small portion of it but the apartment is full… help arrives later today to unpack the heavy things. Gulp! I really need to clear out the area where the snake cages will go so we can get those set up and out of the way. Then I think the rest of the big things will fall into place around it all. One of our bedroom closets smells heavily of cigarette smoke from the apartment next door. We have decided to use the living room closet instead for clothing and use that closet for tools and art supplies. We will also be putting both air purifiers into the bedroom, with the smaller one in that closet… neither of us smoke, and both find the stale smoke smell pretty gross. Hoping the air purifiers do their job.

We had an old friend over tonight. He brought his gf. It was nice to spend an extended time with friends (and without being in a muscle relaxer fog). I’m finding I am as isolated here as I was at my mom’s house, only here it’s just me during the day. L has a crazy work schedule. I’m not quite sure how she keeps up with it. I think when all is said and done, she ends up working close to 60 hours a week. Hopefully with me starting up at a former job again, she will be able to drop down to the one f/t job (which itself is almost 50 hours)…

After having met with Dr C last week, I’m questioning my self-assessment. I really need to ask her if she thinks I’m as messed up as I worry she thinks I am. I know I have a tendency to read into things based on my own perceptions, so I really need that reality check next time I meet with her. There’s so much more I’m finding I have no memory of (between anecdotes from L and from our friend, I’m finding I have gaps in time from as recent as right before I moved back to my mom’s house… though even L was saying she didn’t remember everything the friend was talking about tonight). I dunno… I know there were times at mom’s that flew by or I don’t remember, but it was easily explained. Aside of the triggered times with De, most of that time was spent lost on the internet. I think mom would have mentioned if anything noteworthy happened. Definitely need to ask Dr C about some of this stuff.

I know I was really distracted today when the landlord’s son came by with a key we had asked for. I felt bad about how inattentive I was when we talked. I’m normally more outgoing and genuine. I was just so distracted about the pod arriving, my head was in a million different places at the time. I know I felt disconnected when talking to him, and actually felt kinda dismissive and like a jerk. I didn’t mean to be. :/

Does anyone else get such a different perception of things? Does your reality match up with what others report? I find myself checking in with others more often than not these days. I don’t trust my perceptions anymore, and I’ve gotten into the habit of asking if what I’m feeling or thinking is accurate to the situation. It started as something I only did with therapists, but lately it’s spilling out to friends and family. Sometimes I even do it with strangers (which I assume gets me a few weird looks). I guess it’s better than over-reacting to something that’s actually innocuous.

Anyway, enough middle-of-the-night ramblings from me. Hope you all are having a good weekend. Send us good unpacking vibes, and no rain on Sunday or Monday vibes please! The pod leaves again Tuesday, so everything has to be out of it (slight cartoon freak-out moment over how soon that actually is).

this past week

So, I managed to get in to see Dr. C on Monday. It was weird, awkward. I didn’t know how to answer her questions. I was too stuck on the functioning, “everything’s good” side of things to be able to access and verbalize much of the more difficult parts of the past 3 years. I noticed myself telling her things in a very detached and scattered manner. I jumped around and skipped things and back-tracked. A few times I told her I didn’t really know how to answer her questions. What I really meant was that I didn’t know how to answer them succinctly. I told her the truth of the moment, which was pretty watered-down and wrapped in that happy newness post-move.

It was weird because I didn’t feel as comfortable with her as I had prior to leaving. I guess I expected to be able to pick up where I left off (in terms of trust and comfort-level). That’s not how it is shaping up… She did make a few comments that caught me off-guard though. One happened when I was telling her about my reaction to reading the records provided for the disability determination. She said something along the lines of me trying hard to present one way, while still having all this darkness underneath (accurate point). The other happened when I told her that my inner child had left after starting to tell TM more about the newer flashbacks/memories. Dr. C called my inner kid a “personality”. That threw me. I never saw her as one. To the best of my knowledge, she never took over or anything like that. She was just a kid that lived in my head. She was ok to love and care for and protect. She was just a construct of my head though. She was a vessel for that other ickiness… Yeah, she felt really separate and distinct from me, but more of a character that I had lost creative control over than another personality… I dunno. The thought of her as another “real” person makes me uncomfortable; like if she really was, then I am even more “off” about my projected image vs. reality.

Anyway, at the end of session, she brought up the women’s group I had been in (LKB had suggested I attend the group back when I was still seeing her as an individual therapist). She asked if I was interested in joining it again. Apparently, it has dwindled to 2 of the original members. I agreed to join back up. It was good to see the old group members again. It was nice to catch up. I again found myself at a loss for what or how to say the things that had transpired in the past 3 years. My cheery, happy face was on and I had almost no connection to anything that wasn’t “good”.

Anyway, that was Monday & Tuesday. By Wednesday, the “newness” of being back had started to wear off. I find myself easily bored, though my sleep is a bit better. It’s more regulated by the natural rhythm of the days. I go to sleep when L does (rarely later than 11), and I wake up with the sun (which happens to be about 6am at the moment). Most of our stuff is still in transit. It gets here tomorrow afternoon. Finally!! I had forgotten to put my sneakers into the car, so I have not been able to take the dogs for any longer walks or hikes through the woods. Flip flops just are not conducive to hiking uneven terrain, or even to longer walks on flat surfaces. So they have pretty much stayed in the apartment. Hopefully next week I can get out on some of the trails with them.

I must say, I really miss the beach though. And it’s been chilly here: only the mid to upper 70’s. I’ve been used to the mid to upper 90’s for better part of every year these past few years. Brr!

I’m so glad our stuff will be here tomorrow though. I can’t wait to get things more situated, and to be able to get back to my art. I’ve done a bit with L’s supplies, but there is no real table set up yet. Once everything is placed, I’ll feel better about spending time on my art again. I miss it. I will have to look into local classes…

I have yet to call TM with the update. I thought to call her on Wednesday, but I was feeling too needy that day, so I refrained. I don’t want to turn my update into a support session. I just want to be able to let her know I’m here and settling in. I also kinda wanted to get her take on what Dr. C had said (or more correctly, her take on my reaction to what Dr. C had said), but thought maybe I should clarify with Dr. C first. If I wait for that though, I won’t be calling TM for over a week since Dr. C is on vacation next week. Though maybe TM could provide me with a reality check while Dr. C is gone. I dunno. I guess I’ll just take it as it comes.

Here and now trying to settle in

So, we moved. The drive took about 36 hours. We stopped to visit friends and slept over along the way. A few frogs stowed away in my plants. Oops…

Now comes the wait for the stuff to arrive as well as working on settling in what we managed to fit into the car. The reptiles are in their temporary (and cramped) homes. The dogs are learning the routine. The cats are getting accustomed to the bedroom (though that may not be where they remain)…

Much of our things in storage here have gotten moldy, so even if we tried to hang on to things for the return, they now need replacing. It took me over an hour yesterday to make coffee because I couldn’t find anything to cut open the bag with… I ran to the dollar store for scissors.

Been running around trying to get odds and ends replaced on a really tight budget. We’ve spent several hundred we didn’t account for all because the things in storage got moldy. Hopefully next week I will have the energy to start a claim.

I’m exhausted from this move. The last week before leaving, I might have totaled 4 hours of sleep the entire week. The day we left, I had maybe an hour… I cried at everything and nothing. It sucked. I could barely function. As a result, a lot was left there and undone. I have to go back at some point to grab the rest of my stuff and to help my mom clean…

Speaking of tired, I’m still really exhausted. I hope this entry makes sense… just wanted to update that the move happened, and now is time for getting back into the groove up here…

another Dear TM…

Dear TM,

All that panic I talked about during that call (and felt even this morning) is being over-shadowed by the excitement of seeing L again in a few short hours. I’m beaming inside. I really want to leave you a message to that effect, so you aren’t left with the impression that I’m such a mess all the time…

Thank you for reminding me to power through, for reminding me that things will be getting better and lighter, for being there when all I could see was this wall of panic and darkness. Thank you for helping me turn on that light

I really wish I could bring you with me to Dr. C to help me catch her up on things (and maybe to hold on to you a bit longer)… but it would require a bit of travel on your part, to a place that really isn’t interesting at all, lol.

Ok, gonna try to concentrate on maybe packing or something to help pass the time. I almost want to just go chill at the airport for the next 2.5 hours because I can’t seem to pay attention to anything right now. I’m way too excited to finally be seeing her again

Thanks again for all your help and support. I know I’m not the easiest nut to crack, but we were getting there. Sorry I fell apart on you towards the end. Stress and I don’t mix well (though I have to admit I did WAY better this time around than I have in the past. Dr. C would be able to attest to that)…



on trust

Someone on a forum asked about trusting people in life. I believe she meant it in terms of trusting someone to not hurt her, but I defined trust slightly differently. I took it in a more universal scope…

I don’t trust anyone 100%. I trust my wife the most, though I don’t burden her with most of my trauma stuff. I trust her to work on the relationship. I trust her to call me out on my crap. I trust her to tell me when something is bugging her… I trust my critters. They are easy to figure out and rarely have ulterior motives except maybe food and adventure… I can build trust with a therapist. I trusted TM to work with me on what I brought to therapy. I trusted her to be open to helping me figure out my reactions. I trusted her to help build that trust, and to work with my best interests in mind within the bounds of her expertise and ability. I’ve trusted the same with some past therapists… I trust other members of my family to live up to what I have experienced from them in the past. I trust my dad will continue to be an abusive *** who will never learn. I trust my mom will be distant and in denial but loving in her own way. I trust my brother to be a geek and creative and funny but not emotionally accessible. I trust my wife, my mom, and my brother will be there for me. I trust my dad will push the boundaries I put up and bulldoze them (or try his best to do so). I trust his oldest sister will forever be crazy, abusive, and a plight on society. I trust my best friends to be people I can always come back to regardless of the time and distance between us…
So I guess you can say I trust a bunch of people, just in different ways.
I wish I was able to trust someone completely in a positive way, but I don’t even trust myself completely. People will come and go. Critters will come and go. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but I trust certain people will do their best to be loving… I also trust everyone is imperfect…

Who do you trust? How do you define that trust?

twolah blog entry “what they don’t tell you about trauma”

I came across a blog entry on To Write Love on Her Arms the other day and wanted to share.

I don’t totally agree with all of it all the time, but maybe I need the reminder…


7/4 – just found this also… To Those Who May Not Understand

new word…

learned a new word from fb today: (gasp! yes, you can actually learn things on fb…) (from the sanskrit dictionary)


भूतदया bhUtadayA f. compassion towards all creatures
भूतदया bhUtadayA f. universal benevolence



Technical question

Can people see your private posts? What about those with passwords? I have another blog strictly for therapy (came about from needing to communicate between sessions with De,  who did not use email). Last week, the stats on that blog showed activity. No one other than myself has had access to it since I stopped seeing De, but the stats show views from another country. Can others see the contents of that blog? I’ve since set it to a totally private blog (needing to be an approved, registered user to access it), but I’m wondering if this person was able to actually see anything?

It’s stuff that is not meant for eyes other than mine and sometimes my therapist… I’ve had too many instances of people reading my physical journals, so I stopped writing there. People have gone through my email accounts, so that’s not happening. I’ve not found a secure and reliable journaling program (lost access to several journals because the apps or programs failed or lost data). I don’t want to lose the one last safer place to write things that are not meant for most eyes…

Thank you :)

Thank you for the wonderful words of support around my last entry. You all rock and know how to make a girl feel loved! the entry came about when thinking about the question of why goodbyes are so hard. I’ve been told I have a particularly difficult time with them (they can be excruciating). There’s more to my reasoning than what I talk about there, but I’m not ready to express that publicly just yet (it’s nothing major, just a confirmation of what I’ve suspected in relation to where my attitudes originate)…

I do have to admit though, I’m feeling like a fraud reading your amazingly wonderful comments. The inner critic doesn’t even let me finish reading before she starts on her tirade: “drama queen! You’ve made people lie about wanting you around. You’re fishing for compliments. This is so manipulative. You know you’re not worth anything to anyone. Even L just stays out of pity. People don’t actually like you, they just think you’re pathetic and a decent charity case…” She drones on and on, but you get the gist.

I do my best to block her out and counter her words. Compliments are really difficult for me to take, but I’m learning. So thank you again for your wonderful words of support. They spark my inner critic, but they also help shut her up. You all have no reason to lie. There’s no obligation to like and follow my blog. She needs to stop talking and take a seat for a while 😉

goodbyes are hard

I have trouble with the concept of feeling cared about. I don’t see why anyone would want to ever remember me unless I’m in their face & bugging them. To me, goodbyes feel like a death. Some people have proved that fear wrong, but I still fear it all the time. It’s a combination of not feeling real or worthy of being remembered, feeling really crappy about myself, and knowing I will miss the person’s company (probably a ton more than they will miss mine)… I guess you could say I don’t believe I could have object permanence with someone if I am not right there for them to be reminded of me. Most of my goodbyes involve a final severance. I suck at keeping in touch b/c I worry I annoy or frustrate the other person by trying to reach out to them. They probably get frustrated and think I don’t care, so they give up trying. In reality, I care a whole lot, but feel awkward reaching out…

I was told it’s natural to miss someone you have grown used to seeing, but I never manage to believe anyone should put effort into missing me.

quote – john kabat-zinn

“Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

Dear TM…

Dear TM,

Everything inside is collapsing, but I’m pushing through. I keep remembering you telling me to just power through these next few days and everything will settle more after the move. I wish I had recorded that conversation, because I could really use actually hearing it again right now.

not my image…


I want to cry and scream and break things. And I want to jump for joy. And I want to hide in your office and find comfort in your presence. And I want to go to the beach & take it in again before leaving. And I want to destroy myself. I want all these very opposite things all at once. I hate that I feel things so strongly, with very little idea of how to moderate them. I wish the feelings were not so intense. I swear I never grew out of that little kid stage where every negative emotion feels like it will kill me. It’s all so intense right now. If I’m not walling it off and numbing it out, it’s eating me alive.

I’m doing it though. I’m powering through without totally self-destructing. I’m keeping the sh in check. I’m reaching out to friends and family… Just have to make it through this weekend and the move.

I go back to see Dr. C on the 13th. I have to figure out how to catch her up on everything that’s happened in the last 2.5 years. I almost want to ask her for a longer session so I can get it all out at once (because I don’t think I’ll be able to see her again till August due to finances). I’m really hoping she will be around for a while. I think she is planning on retiring this year. I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t want to have to keep saying goodbye… :/ At least I know her and trust her. That will be good to go back to. I’m sure there will be an adjustment period, and I’ll have to refresh her memory on stuff, but it won’t be as bad as totally starting fresh.

Trying to remember to breathe…

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to maintain contact so badly when I’m leaving (but not being able to). I have not wanted to be friends with an ex-t in SO long… well, not friends, but I want you to still be in my life. Only I know even if I were staying we would have ended b/c I was crashing. This sucks. If I win the lottery ever, I will donate some to you guys with the suggestion that you work with clients for longer once again, and be able to provide more supportive services. Trust is SO hard. To have to build it time and time again in short order just keeps replaying all those childhood hurts. But you said you understood that, so I don’t really need to tell you so much as I need to tell the county… 😦

Anyway, I’ll shut up now. It’s not like you will ever see this. I hope you have a good weekend, and enjoy margaritas on your patio (did we ever talk about my margarita obsession? because when you mentioned it I did a double-take… fresh Lime in the Coconut margaritas are my favorites… another thing I will miss about here). L comes down Sunday, and we have already slated in margarita nights before leaving… I wish you could have met her (and she you)…

Anyway, yeah… I miss you a lot, but that call the other day helped a ton. Gonna keep reminding myself of all you said. Thank you for being so nice…


quote – lion king

“Ah yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” – Rafiki, The Lion King

My attempt to express my stress… through Harry Potter Images ;)

I like these. Must try it myself next time…

Dearest Someone,

When times are tough, when times are dark, and when times aren’t at all fun I guess we draw upon the things that we hold closest to our heart in order to find something to hold onto. Photos of my family, photos of my friends, and knowing I have an amazing support system of incredible, fantastic people all give me something to grip onto tightly. They are my safety net, they are what I clasp when things are too tough, when I’m slipping away slowly and the depth and darkness of PTSD have got the better of me.

Because, at the end of the day I’m slowly starting to realise and accept that I have achieved incredible, surreal things. From speaking at the Houses of Parliament to holding on when things have reached there spikiest, toughest, most brutal, horrifiying (almost the end) moments. I am made of tough stuff, we…

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Sundowning is not just an institutional thing

As soon as the sun goes down, my panic skyrockets and my flashbacks pick up stronger. They build each other up cyclically. The panic increases the flashbacks which increases the panic which increases the flashbacks and around it goes… add into the mix that the flashbacks trigger the self harm urges, which also feed into the loop, and I’m a mess shortly after dark.

The anxiety and terror around going to bed are back again too. If I’m in bed before the sun goes down, it’s not so bad (even if I’m up afterwards). It’s when the sun goes down and I’m not in the bedroom that the panic hits really hard about returning to the room… and the flashbacks, and the terror, and the self harm urges…

I’m really hoping it will ease up once L is here, and again once the move is over.

On a cute note, our great niece is already packing for a sleepover at our new apartment… L tried to tell her we won’t even be there for another week, but she’s getting prepared anyway. Once she’s got her mind set on something, there’s no stopping her.  Gotta love kids ❤


I woke at 3:30 after only about 3 hours of sleep. It’s now almost 6 and I can’t shut my head off.
I have a headache, I’m exhausted, but my eyes won’t stay shut, and my head won’t stop the chatter.
Hoping just writing it here will trigger Murphy’s Law and I’ll finally be able to sleep some more.

found some comfort

So, TM doesn’t hate me.

She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.

I didn’t piss her off by calling for support the other day.

She returned my call and even said I could call her back to talk.

She was patient and kind and reassuring when I did. It was during her lunch, but she didn’t rush me.

She reminded me that there’s only a few days left anyway. Either I will be all set for the move or I won’t be, but it won’t be the end of the world.

She’s all for me going out with my friend tonight for one last trivia night. Her enthusiasm over that made it much easier to tell my friend I’ll be there.

She didn’t say much of anything particularly inspiring or profound, but she managed to say what I needed to hear: that she know’s I’m struggling with this; it’s ok that I’m struggling with it; and it will all be ok soon (for whatever reason, it sinks in when she says it, but it feels merely obligatory when L says it…).


Dr. C does not hate me either.

She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.

She scheduled an appointment with me for after the move despite me being so needy before even officially returning to her.

She has seen me at my worst, and is still willing to take me back as a client.


I get to hang out with M&B tonight.

M & I have known each other forever, and she still likes me.

B likes me by default I think… at least, he puts up with me.

I’m really gonna miss them when I go, but tonight we will kick ass on trivia.

Some friends will be there forever; M is one. I’m really lucky to call her a friend ❤


L will be here in less than 4 days!

I will physically see my wife again for the first time in 7 months!!!! 😀

I don’t know who will be happier: me, the kids, or L… I think maybe the kids, b/c there’s 4 of them, and they have not see her at all since she left last May. They get super-excited when someone returns from getting the mail, and that takes less than a minute. I’m sure they will not know how to contain themselves when L arrives.