It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on, it takes a lot of strength to let go. – j.c. watts
Monthly Archives: August 2015
Progress on “flashbacks” & some other stuff…
In group on Tuesday, Dr C opened up the door for me to be able to talk a bit more about the things I’m struggling with. I spoke about believing these new memories. At one point, I mentioned having a really vivid imagination, and suggested that these memories were just some elaborate story I had made up. She countered with the concept that my really vivid imagination was perhaps helping me believe they were not true
I think I need the “out” not necessarily believing myself just yet provides. It’s so much harder to believe when the triggers are not as “in my face” as they had been before the move. From a distance, it all feels fake. There’s physical and emotional distance right now (except when it comes back to haunt me).
L and I have hit a few bumps around my lack of desire to engage in anything remotely sexual. I keep getting stuck on how to convey that it’s not related to her in the least. She’s just caught in the after effects of remembering past events. She told me that she doesn’t even really know what happened, just that some people have hurt me over the years. I tried to explain at least the Duckboy stuff but the words got caught in my throat. I couldn’t use the labels my therapists had given it. I couldn’t force even mild descriptive words past my lips… I started getting lost in my head again. I’m not really sure how the conversation ended. It’s not that I don’t want to tell her, but I get stuck in the process of it.
I had told Dr C about not knowing how to let L in more around any of this. She suggested either doing a joint session with L and her therapist, or bringing her in to talk to Dr C. I’m not sure what would work better. I’m not even sure what I would be comfortable speaking about since most of this stuff is left so unprocessed yet… I guess we (L & I) will figure it out at some point. In the mean time, I hope I can find ways to communicate with her. How do you explain to someone that any touch (even the safest and wanted kind) can sometimes trip the switch in your head that releases a flood of unwanted memories? It doesn’t always happen, but I worry when it does. Suddenly having sex with my wife is no longer sex with her; it’s being forced into sex with someone else. Even when I work hard to ground from it, the memories keep taking over… it’s anxiety inducing… It’s also a killer to our sex life.
Maybe that’s how I know it’s true? Maybe the interruption of happy moments with these scary ones means they happened and I just forgot? Maybe it’s more than just a story if I can’t get through intimate moments with my wife without flashbacks to other moments? I want so badly to be able to enjoy sex again. I want to stop remembering the times it hurt or I was scared. I want to stop remembering the times I just lay there because it was easier to do that. I want to stop remembering…
There’s a confusion in my head that equates “real” care with violation and submitting. It’s a caregiver transference thing I think, because when De asked if I believed L cares about me I realized I know she does. That belief doesn’t transfer to her (though on some level in still sometimes shocked when she doesn’t physically hurt me or threaten to hurt me). It’s more just for people in power/perceived power… I dunno.
Anyway… yeah… gonna try to keep ahead of the depression I’m beginning to notice more strongly. Hoping I can keep it at bay. It’s such a tiring cycle…
Got this through my feed and want to save it somewhere for later reference.
Six books that use psychological techniques to help kids (from smithsonian.com)
Also, I picked up some cool finds while tag-saleing this weekend, one of which is an antique (from the 70’s?) book that explains death/grief to kids. I will take some pics when I remember to bring it in from the car.
Went to a doctor’s appointment today. I normally really like this doctor. she’s normally really cool, but today I felt like all she could see was my m.i. diagnosis… I’m trying to tell myself it probably has more to do with my anxiety and being one of her last patients for the day (the one after me was probably due to deliver this week from the part of the conversation I overheard while checking out) than it does with me as a person. I’m still having trouble feeling the validity of that though.
I felt like she rushed me and didn’t give me a chance to explain why I was there… again, likely due to the time of my appointment, and the nature of the appointment after me.
Whatever. I’m going to keep reminding myself that she is generally an awesome doctor.
On a slightly related note, I want to talk to L more about what is going on for me lately, but I don’t know how to do it. I doubt the validity of my memories too much to be able to talk to her about them. She kinda guessed about it tonight, but I couldn’t bring myself to confirm it. How do you tell someone about something you are not even sure is real? I mean, it certainly impacts our relationship significantly, so I owe it to her to talk about it… but I don’t know how to do that when I can’t even say for sure they are real memories. I keep faltering and being convinced I made them up for some weird reason. I go through periods of questioning everything I remember. I think it’s all a lie. I think I just need the attention having that history brings me. I don’t know how to come to terms with some other disturbing stuff, so I weave stories around it to allow it to make sense. It’s all a lie…
And then I can physically feel it again. The sensations of it play on or in my body and I know it’s real, but only while I can feel it happening. Once the sensations quiet, I doubt it all over again.
Why didn’t I remember it till now?
What if I’m just putting the wrong face to the body?
What if I’m talking about the wrong person?
What if it’s just all something I saw on TV and somehow translated into a “memory”?
Memory is a shift thing after all…
I’ve been in this weird head-space all day. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like living elsewhere while my body is going through the motions in this world. It’s two realities at once, but not completely either of them.
I don’t recall any dreams while I napped today, but it’s that “stuck in a dream” feeling. It’s continuing just out of my cognitive awareness, but I know the emotional experiences don’t belong to this moment. It doesn’t feel like a flashback because I can’t tie the emotions to anything real. They feel detached and belonging to some other reality. It feels as unreal as a dream, like walking in a fog.
Struggling with self-harm desires too… “desires” isn’t the right word, but neither is “urges”… self-harm thoughts? They’re more than mere thoughts though. I dunno. It’s not just cutting thoughts/desires/urges. It’s wanting to go out clubbing complete with mass amounts of alcohol and drugs (something that was never “my thing”, nor have I ever done more than smoke some weed)… It’s imagining a release, an escape from the prospect of what I’ve been addressing in therapy. The scared little kid has given way to a reckless teenager. The scenarios (or emotional scenes) going through my head are all very out of character for anything I would actually do. Just a really good imagination I guess. Dreams can feel real in the moment after all.
The body sensations are still really uncomfortable. They have not gotten unbearable though, so that’s good. Maybe Dr C is right. Maybe this can be done safely… I have not fallen apart yet, and so far the “safety net” we talked about seems to be lessening the impact of stirring things up. :shrugs: Hope it keeps working.
Sorry. I’m rambling. I dunno if any of that makes sense…