Category Archives: liiiight bulb!

Liiight buullbb…

It hit me the other day why I would have dreamt about De recently: we terminated on July 1st (4 years ago), and she left for her new job. 

That makes sense now…

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Dear De

Dear De,

I dreamt about you last night. You were happy in your new job, and your life. I can’t remember much else about the dream, but we connected again in it. I caught you up on everything since we ended, and you let me in on some basics about how you were doing. 

It was nice to reconnect, even if it was just a dream… 

Peace, 

Sam

It’s weird. I don’t often dream about my therapists, but De seems to pop up in them more than most. I think it’s because I feel like I helped break her. I know it was a combination of the job, a lack of appropriate supervision/professional supports, and a lack of effective self-care while she worked in such a stressful position, but I was part of the job… so, yeah. I helped break her. 

I still feel guilty around it. 

What if I hadn’t been so open about my struggles? What if I tried harder at the techniques she presented? What if I’d made more of an effort to keep myself together? What if I’d have not given her access to my journals? What if I’d have been a better, less demanding client? What if…?

Ultimately, I know it was her responsibility to keep herself balanced and supported. I know that quitting work at the sexual assault counseling center was part of her self-care. I know it was her choice, rather than something she was forced into… yet I feel guilty. 

I think my guilt partially stems from my own experiences of burn-out in the field. I let my own experiences build up so much that they broke my defenses. I definitely feel guilty about the way I left my clients at the domestic violence counseling center. They had no notice, no termination, no chance to either say goodbye or run from the experience. I took their choice away. I took my choice away. I let myself fall apart too much before I finally was forced to pull away… I left because I landed in the hospital again (and again, and again). I could no longer function in the basics of my life, forget about in an intense and emotion-filled work environment…

De never got to that point before she realized she needed out. I’m grateful for that. 

I guess I dream about her more often because I worry about her more than other therapist’s I’ve had. I need to convince myself that she’s happy and thriving, even if I don’t know that for sure…



weirdest flashback yet (TRIGGER for talk of suicide)

ok, so I’m calling it a flashback because it came in super-intense, lasted a few seconds (though felt like forever), then completely faded leaving a hollow echo…

so yeah, had my weirdest flashback yet; I was suddenly overwhelmed with the thought/urge/almost action to kill myself. Specifically, it very much echoed my first (and most serious deliberate) attempt.

I am not currently suicidal. I have not felt that way in quite a while, except for around 5:20pm tonight. It came out of nowhere, hit hard, and dissolved into nothingness. I was aware of it as something that “didn’t fit” with the rest of my current reality. I had a quick dialogue with myself in the background of the overwhelming feelings. I was aware that I was having a dialogue and that this other overwhelmingness was playing over that.

It took me a while to label it as a flashback though.

I knew it was “wrong” in intensity for my general mood lately. I knew it came on very hard and seemingly un-provoked, but I didn’t identify it as that first attempt until finally talking it through with a crisis chat (everyone else I would have contacted or tried to contact to talk it through was unavailable). In the back of my head, I’ve been wondering if today was the true anniversary of that first attempt because I saw a fb “memory” that hinted at it. The time of day would have been about right for that attempt. The line of thinking that was intruding would have also been accurate for that attempt… and it completely left as fast as it came on, so I’m gonna call it a flashback.

That was super-disturbing. I wonder what part of me was scared so much by something to throw that out at me for the first time in a long time? And I kinda wonder if all those times I was dealing with “impulsiveness” was really just a flashback that I couldn’t label as one yet. I did manage to traumatize myself pretty badly (and many others) with that attempt. I distinctly remember being terrified of doing it, but also feeling like I had no choice anymore because I had made the decision within myself, and needed to honor that decision… I kinda bullied myself into it right before; I was both the abuser and the one being abused…

Anyway, so… yeah. Weirdest flashback yet, but really glad I was able to identify it as one. Now, back to the general “meh” feeling of having my emotions jumbled due to hormonal fluctuations.


Out of Phase

That’s it! He feels out of phase… I think maybe that’s why communication is so difficult.

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A little slow on the uptake

So, sometimes connecting the dots takes me a while.

I just figured out how it is that I can manage to be “fine, until I’m not” (like literally, just before I opened my WP app to write this)…

Anyway, all the discussions Dr C and I have had about dissociation and her finally labeling it as “fragmented ego states” led me to realize that I can work/function immediately before and after a major break-down because I dissociate it all. I compartmentalize the emotions. I check out from the turmoil to be able to function in daily life. Once I finally can no longer hold the mask in place, I fall apart. When I can figure out how to hold the mask up again, I go back to functioning in my every day life (at least when I have to maintain appearances at work or school).

It should have been easy to figure this out. I’ve always utilized dissociation and fragmentation to survive. I should have known that would be how I got through my breakdowns… so many times clinicians would marvel at my ability to work until the moment I entered the hospital, stay there for a week, then return to work the day of discharge. I kinda get why I didn’t figure it out at the time, but why didn’t they? Dissociation has been a part of my diagnosis for ages, how did they not put it together? They were outsiders, they had a “whole picture” perspective, but not once did they think to clue me in when I was baffled by my cycles… Maybe they didn’t figure it out either. Most of them did not work regularly with fragmentation or severe dissociation. I guess I wonder why The Center at PIW didn’t figure that out. They discharged me as soon as I seemed “together” enough to function in daily life…

Dissociation was a lifesaver at one point, but now it hinders everything, including moving forward in treatment. Just this week I pulled it together long enough to get through my session with Dr C yesterday. Today I’m back to seriously depressed and ready to cry. I made it through work, but now I want nothing more than hide and cry… this sucks.