about me

I feel like I should write something about myself here, but I am at a loss as to what to say.  I’ve been caught in this forever, with the exception of a few years here and there… My last episode of self-injury was August 2011.  My last hospitalization ended in September 2011…  I have a background in Psychology and Social Work.  I followed that path because of my own struggles.  I have experience from both sides of the chair (desk, table… wall).  I struggle with experiences from both sides.  I struggle to give my clients and those I work with the best care possible while maintaining the best life I can at any given moment…  I plan to go back for my doctorate in clinical psychology, but that will have to wait for now.  My goal for this blog is to help mainly myself, but if it touches anyone else along the way, all the better.  (For a more complete intro, please see my first blog entry).

UPDATE (June 2015): I have been out of the field for going on 3 years. At the end of 2012, I moved back to a childhood home. I expected a measure of upheaval because all moves are stressful. Little did I realize that the environment would be so incredibly triggering. Any progress I had made in moving away, going to university, and growing a life seems to have eroded. My ptsd kicked into high gear. I have experienced flashbacks (physical, emotional, and cognitive) almost daily with very little respite. I’ve finally started to address the content of the flashbacks though, so I guess it’s been a positive experience in some ways. I have not been able to work in any capacity because of the increase in symptoms. I had two additional inpatient hospital experiences and resumed self harming for a period of time. I have yet to find any stability in terms of treatment. The limited community resources afforded in this part of the country have meant switching therapists every 4 months or so. Any sign of decompensation had also meant a switch in therapists because the agencies I’ve used for services have strict rules around a clients’ emotional state (among other things) when engaging in therapy. That has resulted in having 4 therapists over the span of 2 years. Lots of heavy work has been started, but very little has actually been accomplished with it. The constant switching is wearing me thin. While I’m about to return to my adult home region, I question my resolve to continue therapy. I certainly still need it on so many levels, but I’m tired. Trust is hard. Having to say goodbye is hard. Having to do it 3 times in less than a year has me cringing at the thought of starting the whole process yet again next month.

Being out of the professional realm for so long, I’m also finding it more difficult to connect to that professional side of myself. I’m more and more “lost” in the realm of client, and I have difficulty articulating (or even accessing) my competencies. It’s frustrating. My previous successes feel like those of a stranger, all of it a lifetime ago. I often feel like a fake. I question how anyone could have let me pass a class let alone graduate with a degree and work in the field. This is often reflected in my writing these days. Apologies…

Anyway, I hope if you end up reading any of this blog, that it is at least useful or helpful in some way. I know I whine a lot lately. Sorry. Hopefully that will change after this move.

**A Note: all images used on this blog are my own, unless otherwise noted.  Please do not use any of them without permission and credit. thanks. SJ**

**Another note: I am beyond honored to be recognized with blogging awards, however I find it very difficult to keep up with the expectations.  I love to hear that anyone appreciates my blog, but please do not be offended if I do not post the award or follow-through with other nominations.  There are days where I would likely be up for the challenge of narrowing down my choices for further awards, but I feel it would be unfair to not be consistent with my commitment.  I still struggle with motivation and energy much of the time.  I would feel awful not recognizing others and not living up to the duties of being an award recipient, so I choose not to keep up with it.  If you enjoy my blog, please let me know. Heck, let me know if you hate it too (maybe I’m being a jerk and need a reality check).  I always welcome feedback of almost any sort (just nothing mean for the sake of being mean).  I’m continually amazed that anyone actually reads my blog.  That is “award” enough for me.  Peace, SJ

21 responses to “about me

  • words4jp

    Having found your blog is like an unexpected gift. Thank you.

  • cattalespress

    Never, ever, ever give up! EVER! People need you!

  • motheroutlaw

    I nominate YOU for the Liebster Award! Congratulations!

    It means I enjoy reading your blog and you have under 200 followers and someone nominated me so I’m paying it forward! So now the request is that you do the same – answer the following 11 questions, nominate 11 (I only had 8) blogs under 200 followers you like, and relish in the glow of the liebster.

    And the questions tor the nominees are:

    What color makes you feel calm?

    Do you peel an orange or slice it?

    Forest or Ocean?

    What is a good book?

    What profession would you try if you knew you would succeed?

    What do you like on a hotdog?

    What word do you love?

    What word do you not love?

    Do you think the world is ending?

    Do you believe in a higher power and if so what name do you use?

    What is your favorite way to do charity?

  • Marty

    Great sharing and openness about you and your blog, no pretenses.

    As an abused child my self image remained tarnished throughout my life. it felt I was running from something, unworthiness, embarrassment, unworthiness. It took injuries and a tragedy to have my trauma explode at 55.

    my life changed in an instant and trauma, anxiety, some depression along with agoraphobia visited me on my journey.

    I do not believe you have to experience bottom, having your nervous system turned upside down, your system constantly cortisol heavy but if we want to explain meditation or mindfulness and how to apply it, it sure helps.

    there are areas of healing and growth past your education and psychology. it has a gate where the ego fades and cognitive word or thought has evaporated. It is a place of no thought, of focus on the breath to build strength to observe our triggers and practice applying awareness.

    Healing is a discovery of our fight or fligh reaction or the adrenal stress response. Our mindfulness must be strong enough to withstand triggers firing, tunnel vision, loss of fine motor skills, terror, blood pumping , I ration and BP increasing.

    In this moment PTSD does not exist, it is a past emotion, a past event incapable of touching you or your true self.

    Cognitively healing is impossible too envision with any reality for me anyway. Healed does not look or feel like I thought.

    It is a million times better.

    Good luck


  • mirrorgirl

    Dear Samantha.
    Must be a special experience to be on both sides of the “chairs”. I also work in the clinic, and meet many people with trauma. I have started a place where I want to share information about psychology, and since trauma is what I work most with, that will probably be reflected in what I post there. In that regard, I`m looking for guest bloggers, who write either about: Personal experiences, knowledge gathered (including posting research) or thoughts on how to help others. The people invited are free to choose old posts, I know how hard it can be to find time for things like these. But I contact you since you said you would be okay with sharing your story if it might be of relevance for someone else. Another thing is that you have a gift for writing. That makes me especially eager to invite you as a contributor/author:)

    If not, feel no guilt. I understand if people can`t find time or energy to contribute. I really like your blog, and I wish you really good luck on your journey. Feel free to contact me if there is ANYTHING:) (forfreepsychology@gmail.com)

  • behindthemaskofabuse

    Thank you so much for dropping by my blog. Sorry you batttle too.

  • celestedimilla

    I can see a lot of me in you. I’m a psychotherapist who has also been on both sides of the chair. I’ve had struggles with depression and anxiety. I’m doing well these days, for the most part. I’m happy to e-meet you and look forward to getting to know you better! Celeste 🙂

  • sagedoyle

    Thanks for coming by and following BOTH my blogs! That’s a rare thing, so I appreciate it.

  • nikkisth0ughts

    Hey!! I nominated you for the versatile blogger award =) go to my page to check it out!

  • mandy

    I wanted to let my former blog (“Writing Through The Monsters of Our Childhood”) followers know that I have started a new blog and hope you will visit and follow it so we can stay in touch!

  • thesocialanomaly


    First off, that is such an interesting story you have. The journey your on is one unique to you as is mine.

    Now i don’t know if you are still in this life situation, but if you are… Perhaps you should get into spirituality, perhaps it is not knowing more that you need… but knowing less… Quieting your mind to a point of mindlessness.

    As humans, we usually create identities out of our situations and that makes it hard for us to let go. Because if we dropped it completely, who would i be?(TIP:You will not drop dead.)

    Nothing in life is a problem, turning it into a problem is becoming a victim. It is just a situation your in, clear your mind to complete nothingness and you will have no problems, no need for materialism, no need for acceptance, no need for memory, no need for anything. You are then free and yourself.

    It is hard to grasp this… I would recommend “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle… But maybe you have already gone through this route, who knows… What ever the case, some people are not ready to let go.

    Perhaps at a later time. I do not judge.


  • Camille Grassle

    Who are you…my heart beating so fast, my tears well just crusting the swollen lip of my eye making it hard to see my typing… I stumbled upon this site in a rather peculiar way. I think you should see something… I’ll try to attach a pic.

  • annarosemeeds

    Many well wishes and hopes are being sent your way from me. I believe that you can continue to find peace and hope!

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