Category Archives: music

Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper w/Sarah McLachlan

Just saw this float through my fb feed… I loved the original song, but I also really like this version (very unusual for me, because I rarely like the new version if I am used to the original. The only exception to this is Hurt. I like both the NIN version & the Johnny Cash version a lot)… It might help that Sarah is one of my all-time favorite artists…

Anyway, for your acoustic enjoyment:

“Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper)

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion –
Is nothing new
Flashback – warm nights –
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after -Sometimes you picture me –
I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear
What you’ve said –
Then you say – go slow –
I fall behind –
The second hand unwinds

[Chorus:]
If you’re lost you can look – and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting
Time after time

After my picture fades and darkness has
Turned to gray
Watching through windows – you’re wondering
If I’m OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time –

[Chorus:]
If you’re lost…

You said go slow –
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds –

[Chorus:]
If you’re lost…
…Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time


Another transition on the horizon

So, TL reminded me that she was leaving the agency eventually. She asked how long I thought therapy should take with one therapist. I didn’t have an answer for her. She reminded me that the agency generally worked with people for 3 months then reassessed, and that I had been there longer than 3 months. She again asked how long I generally expected to stay with one therapist. She seemed to be thinking a month more, as she gave that as a reference point before asking if I thought I would need longer or shorter.

My initial interpretation was that she will be leaving the agency by the new year. A friend suggested that it may just be supervisor pressure to switch up her caseload because of a waiting list they likely have.

I’m not good with change or loss. Granted I expected to only be seeing TL for about 6 weeks before I planned to move, but I didn’t want to have to change again before the move (something I had specifically mentioned both before and during the intake). Now though, that move looks like it is postponed indefinitely…

I had a bit of liquid courage and was able to leave TL a message. I told her I had hoped to find someone that could see me through till I moved, but I understood that, since it was now an open-ended time frame, she would likely not be the person to see me through that. I reminded her trust is really difficult for me, and I asked if she could help me find someone who could provide more consistent support until I finally moved… I also may have admitted that the only reason I was telling her that was because I was tipsy (file that under things you probably should leave out of a voicemail to your therapist…).

Anyway. I again asked her to shred the reading material I had given her before I left. There’s no sense in getting started with it (or revealing any of that to her) if I will not be continuing to work with her. Too vulnerable… I’m also contemplating simply not returning to therapy at all anymore. Financially, I can’t afford a more consistent therapist (aka: not a student), and emotionally I can’t keep switching, so I should just give up till I can get back to Dr C… it’s not the smartest move with all the rampant triggers here, but it may just be the only self-preserving move I can make.

I was very tempted to cancel on TL when I left her the messages. It’s too raw. But I also know I would regret not at least saying goodbye in person, so I guess I’ll just go next week with the intention of not returning anymore after that. I know I asked TL to help me get hooked up with a more consistent source of support, but I don’t want to have to open myself up to that again. Losses are way too hard…

It’s weird, I was just thinking yesterday that so far this thing with TL was going ok, and maybe she proved my theory wrong of people letting you down just as soon as you got around to trusting them (be it leaving, or a betrayal of trust, or whatever). Guess I jinxed it right then…

There’s really been only a handful of people that hadn’t fallen into the “let me down” category (L being one)… To the rest, thanks for proving my need for distance and walls correct.


More art journaling

Kinda drowning, so hey, why not do more art?

image

The writing is lyrics to Fall From Grace by Sarah McLachlan (b-side to Full of Grace)…

It started as a journal entry, but I didn’t want the writing in this book, so I covered it with a drawing of eyes. Then I added background with my water-soluble crayons and washed everything over with water. I tried to draw a skull, but failed miserably, so I painted over it. I thought the black blob looked like half a heart, so I added the other half. I thought it needed more, so I painted the heart over with bronze, which re-wet the black. I added the ink drops, but it still needed more. I added more watercolor crayon. Still plain. Dug around Sarah songs till I found the one with the right emotion behind it. I’m frustrated that I can’t find the actual song in my library, because I know I had it at one point (along with I Will Not Forget You, which I love but also cannot find)… Anyway. Lyrics were added. I tried to highlight the lyrics that conveyed today’s emotions, but that didn’t work out so well. Wiped off the watercolors and sealed one last time with matte medium. :shrugs: I know you don’t care about the process, but I didn’t want to explain all the emotion in the piece, so you got process instead.

I’m spent. And so tired. And TL’s voice mail is still full. And it’s only Wednesday (aka: Saturday is still far away)… the flashbacks and their implications have taken a huge toll on me. I’m trying to keep my head above water, but it’s hard… wasted money we don’t have on something that made me feel better, but now I just feel guilty about it (and yet I want more because it was an incredible high, not simply the release I get from other stuff… no, not substances).

I feel like crying, but the tears would somehow mean that I’m accepting the flashbacks as true and accurate. I’m not sure I’m ready to do that just yet. I really wish I could talk to TL. I feel so small over this; so vulnerable and shaken… and I’m so tired…

Fall From Grace by Sarah McLachlan

the winter here’s cold, and bitter
it’s chilled us to the bone
i haven’t seen the sun for weeks
too long too far from home
i feel just like i’m sinking
and I claw for solid ground
i’m pulled down by the undertow
i never thought I can feel so low
but oh darkness I feel like letting go

but all of the strength all of the courage
couldn’t lift me from this place
i know I can love you much better than this
i fall from grace
fall from grace

it’s better this way, I said
having seen this place before
where everything we say and do
hurts us all the more

its just that we stayed, too long
in the same old sickly skin
i’m pulled down by the undertow
i never thought I can feel so low
but oh darkness I feel like letting go

but all of the strength
all of the courage
couldn’t lift me from this place
together we crumble and stumble and fall
i fall from grace
fall from grace

i know I can love you much better than this
so it’s better this way


Fix You by Coldplay

One of my latest obsessions in music. Every now and then I put it on continuous repeat… (though I have to admit this is not what I was expecting from the video…)

“Fix You”

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I…

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I…

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you


Imagine dragons – demons

Love this song. Specifically the chorus. Fits me.
Don’t get too close, they bite.

(Emphasis added)

IMAGINE DRAGONS
“Demons”

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you

But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

At the curtain’s call
It’s the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don’t wanna let you down
But I am hell bound

Though this is all for you
Don’t wanna hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul

I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can’t escape this now

Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide


I think that went ok

TL had gotten the message I left, and we tried to talk about it. I managed to shut down and not really be able to communicate much, but I had the stuff I had written to her printed out and she read that. I was pretty checked-out most of the time. I do remember though that she summarized that a lot of it had to do with not feeling heard. I hadn’t really thought much about it all in those terms, but it clicked when she said it. Most of it does really have to to do with feeling like I’m unable to effectively communicate with others… I really don’t remember what else she said, or what I said, but we agreed to spend all of next session on the stuff in my art journal. She said she didn’t want to insult me last week by getting her interpretations wrong about it, so she didn’t want to keep guessing at the time. I on the other hand, couldn’t get past my walls to be able to speak about any of it and would have been happy for any interpretation she attempted. Now that that’s cleared up, hopefully next week will be a bit more productive on that front. I will try to tell her what it’s about, but if I can’t, she is ok telling me what she thinks it means, and I am ok correcting her as best I can when needed.

One thing I didn’t quite put together when starting with her is that they generally do therapy only for about 3 months then reevaluate, and often refer out. I guess we were supposed to be done by those standards, and here I am just getting started. Oops. o_O

I think we also talked about the concept of being overwhelmed. She wanted to know what it was like, what it felt like, but I don’t think I was able to put words to it. My head kept going blank and I couldn’t think of anything to say. I know at some point during that conversation we switched topics because of how overwhelmed I felt in the moment. She had asked how I feel about Likert scales: did I like them? Did I hate them? (apparently, some of her clients have really strong feelings one way or another about them). I don’t feel strongly about them either way, but if she finds them helpful, then I’m fine using them. That’s how she figured we should change the topic: I rated my feelings of being overwhelmed at a 9 out of 10… I suppose in reality it was maybe only a 7 or 8 since I wasn’t totally dissociated, but at the time it felt really high. Though maybe I’d rate complete dissociation at a 10 or higher? I’ve been known to rate myself off the scale when things get really bad because my presentation doesn’t always match how bad I’m feeling inside. Like that Ani DiFranco song Studying Stones, “using all of my will/to keep really still/still, even on the inside/…I’ve cut all of the pertinent wires/so my eyes can’t make that connection/I am holding my breath/I am feigning my death” (full lyrics at the end of this post), I’ve mastered stillness… it also describes dissociation pretty well, and that disconnect that has become second nature over the years. I have become the queen of understatement when it comes to emotions within myself, so others often have a really difficult time reading me. The only way I know to give any indication of how intense things are is to rate emotions off the scale when they are incredibly intense. It’s a crappy way to communicate, but I have not learned how to safely let the masks down to show even a hint of what’s going on inside…

I left feeling compelled to apologize over and over again to her; for voicing my needs, for being difficult, for not being able to trust her yet, for existing… I didn’t really know all of that was behind the apologies at the time I left session, but I was able to point out that I felt compelled to apologize to her at least for communicating about the transference and everything that was in the journal entry she read. She said I didn’t need to apologize for anything. I hope some day I can take that to heart.

:deep breath: here’s to waiting another week to get further. It’s all so painfully slow. :/ (Though this week was the first week in about a month(?) where I feel ok after having left. I don’t feel any pressing need to explain something further at this point, it’s just waiting to get to the stuff that she already knows about. I was checked-out leaving, but not in a bad way. I think I was just processing the session, trying to integrate what I consciously remember with the stuff I can’t pinpoint off the top of my head. ).

And now those lyrics I promised:

“Studying Stones” by Ani DiFranco

I am out here studying stones
Trying to learn to be less alive
Using all of my will
To keep very still
Still even on the inside
I’ve cut all of the pertinent wires
So my eyes can’t make that connection
I am holding my breath
I am feigning my death
When I’m looking in your direction
‘Course numb is an old hat
Old as my oldest memories
See that one’s my mother
And that one’s my father
And that one in the hat, that’s me
It’s a skill I’d hoped to abandon
When I got out on the open road
But any more pent-up emotion
And I think I’m gonna explode
There’s never been an endeavor so strange
As trying to slow the blood in my veins
To keep my face blank
As a stone that just sank
Until not a ripple remains
I am high above the tree line
Sitting cross-legged on the ground
When all of the forbidden fruit has fallen and rotted
That’s when I’m gonna come down’Course numb is an old hat
Old as my oldest memories
See that one’s my mother
And that one’s my father
And that one in the hat, that’s me
It’s a skill I’d hoped to abandon
When I got out on the open road
But any more pent-up emotion
And I think I’m gonna explode


Art, tweaked

I had started this on the 25th, then re-did in color on Wednesday (30th)… Tonight was rough. I couldn’t sleep (stupid losses). I heard a song on my playlist that fit the piece, so added the lyrics to the background… the song is “Let you down” by Three Days Grace… (I’ll post a video and the lyrics from my computer later). Anyway, here’s the piece from its third working:

FB_IMG_1406872582859_zpsapeeiily

I managed about an hour and 40 minutes sleep tonight, so thought I’d try to add the lyrics and video link via my phone (need distractions at the moment)

“Let You Down” by Three Days Grace

Trust me/There’s no need to fear/Everyone’s here/Waiting for you to finally be one of us/Come down…/You may be full of fear/But you’ll be safe here/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/Trust me/I’ll be there when you need me/You’ll be safe here/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/Never want to come down/Never want to come down/Never want to come down/(Down, let you down)/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me


Safe & Sound

This song makes me cry… I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics till it came on my playlist last night, and I couldn’t stop crying…

I long for that feeling of safety again.  I briefly had it with De… Never had told anyone a lot of what she heard/witnessed, and she did so safely and supportively when I really needed it from her (though not all of the time, but she did the best she could)…


Chandelier, by Sia

Chandelier by Sia

Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down

I’m the one “for a good time call”
Phone’s blowin’ up, ringin’ my doorbell
I feel the love, feel the love

1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back, till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

And I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight

Sun is up, I’m a mess
Gotta get out now, gotta run from this
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame

1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

And I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Oh I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Oh I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight


Just Breathe

Told De about some stuff today that made her ask some questions which made me wonder. I asked my mom, and she said something may have happened, but she is not sure. She only remembers suspicions being raised about someone.  When she told me who it was, it clicked that he looked a lot like a man in my nightmares as a kid, not exactly the same, but very close.

Been really checked out since my appointment.  Lost time between ending with her at 2, and later calling her at almost 5. Continued losing some time in spurts, though not as long this time, only a few minutes.  Called De back about it and mentioned what my mom said.  She said it was normal to be bothered by the possibility of more stuff… I just don’t know what to do with it all. Trying not to let it bother me much.

De and I worked on affirmation-type stuff (but not really affirmations because they don’t work for me). One of them was about getting off the runaway trains of thought.  That has been my mantra today.

 

That and “just breathe”…

And because this song kicks ass (though it may be triggering to some):

(yes, I have very eclectic musical tastes… I have all on my iPod)


today is a new day

I ended up at the beach last night.  It was nice.  I will really miss the beach after the move (it’s a mere 20 minutes from here, but will be about an hour from where we will be living… and there will be no palm trees or wading in the winter months).  I really needed the time away.  I needed to think and drown in my music.

I can’t remember which blog turned me on to Angel Haze, but I am in love.  She’s inspirational, positive, and kicks ass.  I can’t pick a favorite song because I like almost all of them.  Dirty Gold is my current obsession, but there’s also Battle Cry (ft. Sia), Angels and Airwaves, A Tribe Called Red, Same Love (remake)… and ok, just about all of them…

I have been fighting strong self-harm urges since the TSA line back up north.  I guess it’s a good thing they no longer allow sharps in the airport because I would have shredded my arm and leg in the airport bathroom before boarding, they were that intense (and I had that little resolve at the moment).  Music has been my centering tool.  I have not picked my art up again yet, but the iPod is glued to my side, with earbuds wedged into at least one ear.  If I don’t have my iPod on, I am playing music through the computer or my phone.  I am sure I will run through the gamut of coping skills in my repertoire before De returns from vacation.  This weekend is a long weekend and most people already have plans.  M and I will be spending more quality time together. It’s not a bad thing, but we have forgotten how to interact. We don’t have simple casual conversations, it’s only ever stuff that lights one of us on fire (if not both).  I wish I remembered how to talk to her.  I wish I knew how to rekindle that close relationship we had back in the day (or at least I think we had).  We are both lost in our own drama.  When we meet, we tend to collide because the spinning arms of the drama hit before we meet causing sparks to fly and fires to light.

I volunteered for a research project on reporting sexual violence.  I’m not 100% sure what they are looking into, but I believe De had said they are looking into how to improve the reporting experience, and what causes barriers to reporting.  I was supposed to meet the lady tomorrow at De’s office, but they will be closing early for the long weekend.  The lady will be coming here later on this afternoon.  I hope the dogs don’t maul her while trying to get her attention (they LOVE people SO MUCH they are not quite sure how to contain themselves. I also suck at keeping up with their training, and they don’t get out as much down here. They do better when they have seen other humans recently).  The questionnaire should take no longer than 15 minutes she says, so it shouldn’t be too painful.  I don’t think it will be too triggering either, so it should be well worth the money I get from it… I miss research opportunities.  While I was never a fan of writing the papers, I did enjoy coming up with the ideas for the papers.  I love expanding the knowledge base on things that we don’t quite know too much about.  I love education, and helping people understand things.  I wish someone would do more research on the after-effects of sexual violence.  There’s so much anecdotal stuff out there, but so little “official” understanding of a lot of it.  I recently found a blog entry on a topic I have never really seen discussed in print.  I know I have been told that it is not uncommon for assault/abuse survivors, but I had not seen anything even remotely close to educational about it anywhere before.  It is also one of the few places to write about it as a function of coping with the abuse vs a pathology simply deemed psychotic.  I wish medical professionals had access to that information.  I think I may have gotten some more effective treatment earlier on had the doctors seen it as something that makes sense in the context of my trauma.  I’m fighting with the thought of posting a link to it here because I don’t think it’s something I’m ready to admit to anyone outside of a few select people.  I know it would have helped me immensely seeing it before now. It helps ease some of the shame to know (other than just hear one or two professionals tell me it is not uncommon and it makes sense) that others struggle with it.  I was surprised to see the number of comments on that post (well over 200?!) from people all struggling with it in one form or another. I’m just not ready to go public with that aspect of my struggle. I guess I could post a link to the blog itself, and let you wade through the posts to find the one I’m talking about… I just… I can’t say it right now. Not yet.  It’s still something I’m working on with De (and eventually with whomever I see up north)… Anyway, the blog is called Blooming Lotus. She has not written recently, but there’s a ton of good stuff on there (at least stuff that can help you feel less alone).  I hope, if you struggle with anything she speaks about, you will find some peace in knowing that it really is something others struggle with… and that’s coming from people who know it first-hand, not just through trainings or clients…

On a totally random note (random because I’m not 100% sure what train of thought led to this) but how can you hold two completely opposite and contradictory ideas as true at one time?  I know DBT covers some of this, but I am allergic to DBT, so I don’t really remember the concept behind the “dialectics”.  I’m talking about such opposing ideas that they should not be able to be held as true at the same time because they virtually cancel each other out.  If I tweak one idea, it’s a little easier to understand how I can hold them both true and correct at the same time, but they are not tweaked, nor do I wish to tweak them.  One is the concept of  “never, ever give up.” The other is the right to “bow out” as each individual sees fit.  Suicide is seen as giving up, so how can I hold that sentiment with the belief that everyone has a right to give up if they choose to do so? How can I advocate for life at any cost in one breath, and the freedom of choice to end your own life in the next?  I am not currently suicidal, though the freedom to have that “escape route” is calming to me.  I hold at once the obligation to fight any and all demons, and the option to give in to the desire for peace and an ending.  How is that even possible?  Maybe it’s that I understand the pain on both sides.  I have felt the desperate need for relief, and I have felt the devastating black hole born of the death of someone I care for deeply.  I grew up with the women in my family (and possibly even the men, but I don’t remember that as explicitly) lamenting about death being around the corner.  My grandmother said that she would die soon (should die soon, needed to die soon) since before I was born.  My mom would always say she wanted the right to kill herself should she ever be incapacitated (she wanted to make sure we all understood and agreed with her right to choose to end her life if she could no longer live it the way she was used to living, be it physical or mental).  I think I recall my father saying similar things.  No one ever expected to “get old”, yet the only person who did not speak regularly of death died at a young age.  My grandmother was 94.  Both my parents are still alive (despite saying neither of them wished to reach the age they are currently).  Bitch is still alive in her late 70’s (all of us wish she wasn’t).  But K is gone, and has been for 20 years this year.  She was 52 when she died, but she was the only one who wanted to grow old… I was indoctrinated to believe that every human has the right to decide to end their own lives.  But I’ve also felt the loss, and had the training that ingrained in me the instinct to preserve the life of others (and maybe even my own)… so I hold those opposing truths at once. Sometimes it’s a mind-fuck.

pass almost 2 hours: The lady for the research study came and it took me an hour and a half to complete the survey.  Her computer was slow, but I also think I kinda spaced on some of it.  it was only supposed to take 15-30 minutes.  Clearly, I did not fit that time frame.  It was ok.  I thought it would ask more about any history, but most of the questions revolved around the last 12 months.  I remembered an incident I had not thought anything of because of where it happened and the circumstances surrounding it.  It was during a hospitalization last year. It happened on a locked unit, by another patient, and in front of staff.  It wasn’t anything major, he was having a psychotic episode (or so they said) and tried to grope me after another patient mentioned that I was a lesbian.  I pulled away. I was able to re-direct him in no uncertain terms, and staff told him to stay away from me (and really everyone).  Despite the fact that I was in there due to my PTSD reactions over past assaults, I was never spoken to about the incident, no one asked if I was ok.  I simply stayed out of the common areas for a while, and later had some really bad body memories that ended in an uncomfortable verbal incident with another staff member.  The thing is, you lose all rights when you are hospitalized for psych issues.  You lose your personhood. You become a thing without feelings, needs, or any control over anything.  They treat you like prisoners (though I tend to think prisoners may be better off in some respects).  If you don’t do what you are told, you are lectured and called “defiant”.  Things slide that would never slide outside those locked doors. People (other patients as well as staff) can treat you like crap, violate all sorts of boundaries, order you to do things, and you just have to accept it.  You have no rights, you have no decision-making capabilities, and anything you say is clearly an exaggeration due to your mental instability.  I was expected to have no real reaction to this man invading my space and trying to invade my body because he was a patient and so was I.  It’s counter-intuitive that a patient’s reactions and feelings are not taken into account on a psych unit, but it’s true way too often.  The minute you step foot onto that floor, you are no longer a functioning, reasonable human being who is simply having a difficult time, you are a crazy person that needs containment (even if you are there for depression or anxiety). With or without a psychotic diagnosis, you are treated as if you are actively psychotic.  At least, that is how the hospitals in this state are.  Up north, I felt a bit more human, a bit more sane.

Anyway, I digress… the survey took longer than I had expected, but I did get paid, so that’s good.


PTSD on tv. (Nashville spoiler alert for this past weeks episode)

We watch Nashville. Mostly L got hooked and has hooked me. This most recent episode (Crazy) dealt with a lot of drama amongst the characters. It also highlighted child abuse and the effects of it on adult survivors… and then it left you hanging with Scarlet having a major flashback on stage. I can’t speak to the validity of the scene because, quite frankly, I’m stuck with her hiding under the piano. In my head, I’m berating Juliet for not being understanding, but I also relate to Scarlet’s reaction to having her request dismissed. It’s something with which I’m familiar. You could argue that she should have insisted, should have taken a stand for herself and refused to perform, but in reality, she did what many kids who grew up like that would do; she did what I would do.  She swallowed her fear and her needs to comply with what she was told to do. She asked once, but being the “good girl” she is, she never pushed the issue. I can recall any number of times when I tried to take care of myself only to be told to smile and keep “performing.” There’s a training that kicks in. It takes over to keep you going until you can’t go any further. It has you following direction even when your heart screams in agony at the thought.  It keeps you upright until the moment you crumble, and it hides the signs so no one understands the gravity of the situation until the moment everything falls to pieces. We are gifted at understatement and minimizing. Because of this, our desperation often gets overlooked. I don’t blame people for missing it because I’m so good at the act. You have to be when any sign of needing anything for yourself is seen as weakness; when you are constantly told that you cannot rely on anyone because they will always fail you when you need them (and then you live through it). You have to be all smiles and perfect because “what happens at home is none of anyone else’s business”… you smile outside to keep the illusion going, but you find little escapes. There are pills or drinks or drugs or blades or food or any number of other quiet coping skills you utilize to be able to keep up appearances.
Before I wound up in the hospital for the first time after a suicide attempt, only my therapist, my roommate, and my then-wife had any clue things were not all butterflies and roses. I smiled through work and life until I just couldn’t do it any more. Then, a week later I was released to return to work the next day.  Only my boss and the house therapist knew what really happened.  I was back to smiles and faking it…
I’m sure Nashville will either turn this into a huge drama moment, or they will sweep out all under the rug as the scene accomplished the cliff-hanger they were searching for to keep viewers tuning in for the following week.  I hope they do the topic justice. I hope they can shed light on what it’s like to live as the person who went through crappy shit growing up.  I won’t hold my breath though, because its prime time tv. I’ll give it to them though, they did a pretty decent job evoking the emotion and triggering my head to spin around with my own experiences. We have to wait till next week to find out what they do with it.  If the way they handled another characters suicidal ideation/actions is any indication, the majority of the story line dealing with the ptsd is over. They likely won’t mention it until the very end of next week’s show, and even that will be in passing.  I’m hoping for more, but I’m not putting faith in it… when I get on my computer, I will post a link to the song Scarlet sings about her experiences with mom. It’s a really haunting ballad, but worth the listen if you can handle it.


roller coasters

I swear I have done nothing but ride them since Friday… there’s no hope, then there’s hope, then there’s no hope, then there’s hope… I hope the hope lasts.  Not quite sure how to make it all work, but hoping.  As long as I’m still hoping (even if just in waves), then it’s not so bad.  The hopelessness comes, but so does the hope, so I’ll take the cycles.  I don’t want to find out that there’s really no hope.  I don’t want to fall head-long into depression over all this.

One thing that got me today was when I was speaking to someone at the affordable care act contact number… I was trying to figure out insurance for L and I, and whether or not I could still sign up/should sign up/need to sign up.  The lady was telling me the guidelines for assistance with the premiums and such when she says that there’s a minimum income level needed to be able to receive the assistance.  If we can’t meet that level, but still don’t qualify for Medicaid through the state, we have to pay FULL PRICE for an insurance plan (the cheapest I found was $220/person without the tax credit).  So how is this supposed to help??  If you are too poor to meet the income requirements for the assistance, but make too much to get Medicaid according to the state (which is anything between $700-$990/month, aka, a whole boat-load of people struggling with jobs at minimum wage), you’re just screwed now because you either pay $200/month in insurance, or you pay the fines the government levy on you for not having coverage (about the equivalent of the cheapest monthly plan)… screwed… Thanks.  Also, why is it that the plans all have 1) an annual deductible greater than my annual take-home pay, 2) insanely high co-pays, and 3) the “better” the plan, the more you pay for premiums, deductibles & copays?!… Once again I ask, how the he** is this helpful to anyone other than the insurance companies??  You could sign a waiver saying you can’t afford it all, but there are strict guidelines for eligibility to be able to sign said waiver.  (que hopelessness)

On a positive note (I will include 3, because 3 is a good number), we maybe, maybe have a glimmer of hope for remaining in the house.  It’s kinda a long shot, but it may happen.  We also called about help with some repairs that need to happen.  We are just waiting for a call-back from the agency (I hope they are not like most of the other agencies in this state that conveniently lose your message).  I will give them through the week, then call again in the early part of next week (assuming I have the energy and motivation).  Also, I was introduced to a new “top 10” musician tonight: Angel Haze.  I don’t listen to too much hip-hop or rap, but I do enjoy it, and this woman has some really, really powerful songs.  I really like all of the songs I’ve listened to tonight, especially her remake of Same Love, Angels & Airwaves, and her song Battle Cry (official video to this one can be really triggering for religious themes, self-injury, csa/child trafficking, etc so watch with caution if any of this is triggering to you).  I have her on in the background as I’m typing this.  Battle Cry is great, thought I could only watch the video once.  Without the video, it’s actually really inspiring and motivational… well, even with the video, but if I watched it too often, I could see myself getting lost in the triggers… anyway, yeah, I really like her and I’m really happy her music was pointed out to me.

random: I’ve been wanting to ask De for my picture back.  I think I want to fiddle with the background because it’s too busy with the effect I used… the characters get lost in the busy-ness.  I wonder if she will still have it in her office so maybe I can mess with it.  I used fixative, but I’m hoping I can somehow soften the bg… I may have to think about how that would work.  Anyone know how to make a “permanent” fixative workable again?


Friday Night on Repeat

I was organizing our art stuff and started playing the music on my phone in shuffle.  I hit Miranda Lambert’s “Over You” and it has gotten stuck on infinite repeat.  There are just some songs that are worth the incessant playing.  I’m not 100% sure what I like about it.  I think it’s a combination of the lyrics and the way she sings parts of it. There’s a desperation and… “something” in her voice at times that just triggers something in my brain.  It latches on and holds it.

The last few days have been ok.  I don’t think I wrote much recently, but that may be because a lot of effort is being exerted on visual expression.  I wish I was better at it, but I need to practice again to get back to my drawing level from several years ago.  It’s definitely something you lose if you don’t use… I’m also playing a lot with mediums I’ve never worked with (or did so only a very few times).  I really want to work more with water colors.  They have a feel to them that other paints can’t quite achieve.  I just seriously need more practice.  I would like to take a class, but we don’t really have the extra cash.  I could try learning on my own through videos, but there’s something about being able to ask questions that makes it work better for me. One day…

In the mean time, I will be fooling around with other random stuff.  There’s a lot I want to be able to put on paper, but I’m not quite sure how.  I guess it will take a lot of trial and error.

Random “weird” thought of the moment: I was getting gas and checking a stack of lottery tickets from the last few weeks.  The guy asked if I had felt lucky.  I responded with “No, life hates me…”  The woman at the next register said that I was still alive and breathing, so life must not hate me that much.  My automatic response was “Exactly! Life hates me.”  I didn’t realize what I had said until I saw the look on his face (combination of pity and disgust I think).  It wasn’t even like I have been depressed all that much lately.  I think all those years of living in the dark makes dark things a habit.  I’m not suicidal right now.  I have no desire to die right now.  I might even go so far as to say I have been “happy” lately (ok, maybe that’s more of just “disconnected and slightly hypo-manic” but since I don’t really have bipolar, I will just call it happy and disconnected).  The words just tumbled out of my mouth without me realizing.  I said them laughingly and with a smile on my face that had been there when I walked into the store… It’s weird how “habits” can carry through even the good times.


Say Something, I’m Giving up on You…

My wife asked why I liked this song so much.  At first I wasn’t able to put an answer into words.  I knew it in my head, but a combination of embarrassment and fear kept me from being able to say it… that, and it wasn’t totally cohesive in my head at the time.  I was able to give her a hurried explanation later on, but it still feels inaccurate or incomplete.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’ll be the one, if you want me to.
Anywhere I would’ve followed you.
Say something, I’m giving up on you.

And I am feeling so small.
It was over my head
I know nothing at all.

And I will stumble and fall.
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawl.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you.
Say something I’m giving up on you.

And I will swallow my pride.
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.
And anywhere I would have followed you.
Oh-oh-oh-oh say something, I’m giving up on you.

Say something, I’m giving up on you.
Say something…

I think it hits close to home, not with what I would say, but what I would hear.  I’ve lost so many in my life because my mental illness is too much for them to handle.  And each time I swallowed the news from that person without a word.  I cried to myself, or behind closed doors, or after they left, but not to their face.  In their presence, at the sound of the news, I shut down.  I switched my brain off, because it was too much of a loss (it had always been significant people in my life, never just an acquaintance, because acquaintances never knew)…

I first heard this song last week on the unit (I rarely listen to mainstream radio).  It struck me because L had just mentioned the night before that she was getting burnt-out on all this.  It brought the fears elicited by that statement into focus, and put words to it.  It put words to the other losses that had happened under similar circumstances.  It spoke my fears of losing De to being “too unstable”… and then seeing the video piece with the little girl… it just struck a cord.  I can relate to this song on so many levels.

Listening to it on incessant repeat lately helps me move through that emotion in measured waves.  It helps work through the (still stubborn) fears of losing both my T and my wife to this latest bout of decompensation (though both have told me that, as of the moment, they are still around).  I worry about how much more L can take of this.  I worry that she has no real supports down here.  I worry that the added stress of having to deal with the tension in the house will push her to the point of giving up.  I worry that another hospitalization will mean the loss of De as my therapist (2 hospitalizations would hint to more instability than she feels comfortable moving along with).  And with my luck, that would also be L’s breaking point… I know these are just fears, but they are real and present.  I know how taxing all of this can be.  I understand the impact, even if I don’t like it.  And I would understand if she were to choose to leave… I would hate it, but it would make sense.  I think that is why I fear it so much: because I can picture my own limits when placed under the same stressors.  I could see myself no longer being emotionally able to handle it, and needing to walk away.  It terrifies me that she will come to the same conclusion and leave to spare herself more pain.  It scares me a lot.

I know De’s limits, so it’s a bit easier, and a bit more real to think of losing her as my therapist.  I’m constantly reminding myself that I understand her stance.  I know the training that states that trauma work should not proceed without a stable emotional base – for safety reasons.  De reiterated all that yesterday.  She said she would not want to open something up, only to have me without support afterwards and have me become a safety risk… I know I also don’t necessarily want to do it without extra support because I know my own limits.  I have learned that I often need to process things a few hours later, and that the flashbacks kick in when the added safety of being around someone trained to help me process things disappears.  I know how I react to the telling of certain events.  I know it opens a flood-gate of emotions that I don’t often know how to control.  De keeps saying the worst part is behind me: the actual event.  But that’s not the part that scares me.  I am afraid of the onslaught of negative emotions that seep out after the box is opened.  Part of me is scared to tackle all this outpatient, but I also don’t have the option of a competent residential trauma treatment center at my disposal (most accept only private insurance if they accept insurance at all.  So many of the places I looked into are self-pay only).  So, I’m limited to trying this with an outpatient therapist, and I happen to feel comfortable with De.  She knows more of the “dirty” stuff than even Dr. C knew.  She may not have the full picture of it all, but I was at least able to open up around the concept of some of that stuff with her (I think because a lot of it is more common with assault/csa survivors than with the “general” trauma population as evidenced by some of the questions during the intake interview.  Some of the fear of talking about it dissolves when direct questions are asked about the possibility of it being a reality for me)… Even with all my trauma-awareness training and all my intellectual knowledge of the existence of it does not make it easier to accept in myself.  And even knowing it’s just thoughts, and never actions (especially after it was pointed out that my learning experiences until that time could warrant such a line of thinking.  I confirmed that it was abusive thinking and should never be carried out in action, which I had already known in my gut because it had felt wrong.  I’m consciously breaking those cycles), I feel wrong in having had those thoughts.  So anyway, yeah.  De knows more about the possibility of that stuff than anyone else.  If I want to continue working through all this, I would prefer to do it with her.  I know I need to continue to work on it because it’s very much in my face and present down here.  If I don’t work on it, I’m afraid I’d lose myself completely…

But I digress… This song has so much meaning, and serves such a purpose for me right now.  I apologize in advance to L for the obsessive nature by which I will be listening to it for the foreseeable future.  Just bear with me hon, I’ll use my headphones as much as I can 😉

Did this Sunday (11/14/13)… rough sketch, but I need to figure out how to use this program better before I can call anything finished… I’m better with traditional media…

Image (3)


Damaged by Plumb

“Damaged”

Dreaming comes so easily
’cause it’s all that i’ve known
True love is a fairy tale
I’m damaged, so how would i know
I’m scared and i’m alone
I’m ashamed
And i need for you to know

I didn’t say all the things that i wanted to say

And you can’t take back what you’ve taken away
’cause i feel you, i feel you near me

I didn’t say all the things that i wanted to say

And you can’t take back what you’ve taken away
’cause i feel you, i feel you near me

Healing comes so painfully
And it chills to the bone
Will anyone get close to me?
I’m damaged, as i’m sure you know

There’s mending for my soul
An ending to this fear
Forgiveness for a man who was stronger
I was just a little girl, but i can’t go back

Trying not to give into the urge to drink myself under the table right now…  though maybe it would help alleviate some of this (gesturing to everything)

sweetest girl – Wyclef ft. Niia

really like this… and she looks familiar, but I can’t place her…

recovery network: Toronto

sweetest girl

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Hurricane by MS MR

“Hurricane”

Didn’t know what this would be
But I knew I didn’t see
What you thought
You saw in me

I jumped the gun
So sure you’d split and run
Ready for the worst
Before the damage was done

The storm never came
Or it never was
Didn’t know getting lost in the blue
It meant I wound up losing you

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind
So dark and foul I can’t disguise
Can’t disguise
Nights like this
I become afraid
Of the darkness in my heart
Hurricane

What’s wrong with me
Why not understand and see
I never saw
What you saw in me

Keep my eyes open
My lips sealed
My heart closed
And my ears peeled

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind
So dark and foul I can’t disguise
Can’t disguise
Nights like this I become afraid
Of the darkness in my heart
Hurricane

Make ash and leave the dust behind
Lady diamond in the sky
Wild light
Glowing bright
To guide me
When I fall
I fall on tragedy

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind
So dark and foul I can’t disguise
Can’t disguise
Nights like this I become afraid
Of the darkness in my heart
Hurricane


Words Fail You – Kris Delmhorst

This could easily be a song from my wife to me… I love Kris, and have listened to her for many years, but only noticed this song tonight.  I can’t believe I hadn’t paid attention to it before.  Also, she is awesome live.  I highly recommend seeing her if you can.

We met with a couple’s therapist today… I think she will be good for us, especially for those times that the words fail me.

words fail you

I’ve been dying this whole evening just to reach out for your hand
And I’ve been trying to keep believing that I might ever understand
Now the hour is getting late, and the moon is sinking low
You find yourself in such a state with so far still to go

And I know words fail you
Words fail you
I know words fail you
And I know sometimes I do too

Now this toyota is getting crowded with all the things that no one’s saying
And if I opened up my mouth now I think I would be praying
I watch you fight your demon, don’t know when to step in
You wrestle with your angel cause you hate to let it win

And I know words fail you
Words fail you
I know words fail you
Well baby sometimes they fail me too

You hatch your little fishes, throw them straight out in the cold deep sea
You’re hatching out a hurricane, trying to keep it all from me

and I know words fail you
Words fail you
I know words fail you
And I know sometimes I do too

© 2001 kris delmhorst/big bean music/ASCAP


yeah, it fits.

So, my ex told me about this song; she said it reminded her of me… sad, but true… she had the “luck” of finding me after my first suicide attempt… I’m sure it was outrageously traumatic for her, and I feel bad about it.  She struggled with me and my depression for quite a while, but it was just too much…  I’m sure my wife could also relate to this, as she had the “honor” of struggling with me through a very tumultuous 2 years where I fought hard to be able to end my life… she found me on more than one occasion in a terribly dangerous situation… I’m grateful to both of these women for fighting when I was giving up, I just wish that neither had ever had to go through it… I cannot change the past, but I have control over the future.  I can work to prevent anyone else from ever having to go through that with me again.  To both of you, I can’t ever tell you how much I regret putting you through that…

…but I like Pink, and I like this song too.

The Great Escape

I can understand how when the edges are rough
And they cut you like the tiniest slithers of glass
And you feel too much
And you don’t know how long you’re gonna last,

But everyone you know, is tryin’ smooth it over,
Find a way to make the hurt go away,
But everyone you know, is tryin’ smooth it over,
Like you’re trying to scream underwater,
But, I won’t let you make the great escape,
I’m never gonna watch you checkin out of this place
I’m not gonna lose you
Cause the passion and the pain
Are gonna keep you alive someday
Gonna keep you alive someday

I feel like I could wave my fist in front of your face
And you wouldn’t flinch or even feel a thing
And you’ve retreated to your silent corner
Like you decided the fight was over for ya,

Everyone you know, is tryin’ smooth it over,
Find a way to make the hurt go away,
Everyone you know, is tryin’ smooth it over,
Everyone needs a floor they can fall through
I won’t let you make the great escape,
I’m never gonna watch you checkin outta this place
I’m not gonna lose you
Cause the passion and pain
Are gonna keep you alive someday
They’re gonna keep you alive someday

I’m terrified of the dark, but not if you go with me
And I don’t need a pill to make me numb
And I wrote the book on runnin’,
But that chapter of my life will soon be done

I’m the king of the great escape
You’re not gonna watch me checkin outta this place
You’re not gonna lose me
Cause the passion and pain
Are gonna keep us alive, someday
Yeah the passion and the pain
Are gonna keep us alive someday, someday


I know the pieces fit…

I watched them fall away.  I know the pieces fit…

I’ve been dealing with/thinking about/discovering more dissociation, and different ways I do it these last few weeks.  Yesterday was the most pronounced in terms of difference… It’s weird.  I need to process it.  I need to figure out how it all fits, what’s it’s purpose? what do I do next? … I’m at a loss.  I really miss having my old therapist, who was more experienced in all of this.  I miss her availability.  I don’t want to dismiss D, but I can’t help but compare him to her… I was finally getting somewhere, and I chose to move (was forced to?)… I know there is a purpose to all this.  I know I need to learn something, but I don’t know if I want to learn it this way…

Trauma recovery is a tricky thing.  Just as you get going, things get thrown in your path.  You move forward cautiously, then realize you reach a plateau.  But it’s a comfortable place, one you think you can work from… And suddenly everything changes and you are dealt a new hand to have to play…


Plumb & friends

I don’t much believe in a god, but I like most of her music… this song’s fitting for this blog… I don’t normally post things like this here, I generally leave it for fb… this just resonates with me.  Music can be such a powerful communication tool, coping skill.  It plays a huge role in my life.  Tho you will likely not find my favorite artists here often, you might be exposed to things that strike a chord with me at the time…

On a different day, I will dedicate a post to music and how it has helped me through various things in life… but that is too much emotion for today.  I’m raw and flustered.  I need some time to breathe again before I delve into anything quite that deep…

ok. I lied.  here are a few more that I really like listening to lately… no particular order.

(the lyrics are annoying, but I like this version)

that’s good enough for tonight…