Tag Archives: abuse

I feel like a fraud (derealization, depersonalization)

… i feel like a fraud. It’s not a new feeling. Been struggling with it for so, so long. The depression in high school felt fake because I couldn’t think of a legitimate reason for it (read: blocked out the ickier stuff, and felt the domestic violence at home wasn’t reason enough). Getting into an out-of-state university felt like a pity move on their part; they must have needed to fill a certain quota of out-of-state students, so they let me in. Passing any of my classes at all was both a miracle & a fluke. It was both easy and incredibly difficult. Mental health was nose-diving hard, but for some reason they didn’t kick me out; another pity move on their part. I frequently dissociated weeks or months at a time (landing in the emergency room, or not making it to classes due to major depression), but some part of me showed up and did enough work to get a degree.

After graduation, I’m not totally sure how I landed the jobs I landed, or kept the ones I did. The only one I’m not surprised at is the kennel job. I busted my ass at that, and the animals helped balance me. I don’t know how I convinced my supervisors that I was good at what I was doing, but they seemed to think I was. I even got promoted, and hired away for better jobs with better pay… Still totally baffled by that. It’s such a stark contrast to what my life is currently like… I’m half waiting for L to figure out I’m worthless, and finally run in the other direction.

I can’t hold down a job because stress and physical stuff inevitably takes me down… But almost all my testing comes back “normal”, & I don’t believe my own stories of some of the things I remember. There’s again zero connection to any concept of abuse (until my mind & body reacts to something vaguely reminiscent of something from the past… Then Dr C reminds me that’s how trauma works. But… Then why don’t any of my medical tests confirm this? Even the neuropsych testing pointed to me being prone to exaggeration of the negative due to high levels of depression…).

There’s no conscious connection to any of the stuff I remembered while living in my old house again. It seems fake; like a story line from a book I read long ago. The story line is present in my memory, but the emotional connection isn’t. It can’t be a real memory of real events if there’s no connection to it, right?

Even things that happened in the past decade+, and I have documentation of happening, don’t really feel real. My emotional connection to memories doesn’t seem to last. I have a concept of the relationship with my ex, and there’s physical evidence of it, but it still feels just like a plot from a story I read once. Everything I remember from the past feels like a well-rehersed script. It’s frustrating. It leaves little room for feeling like a real human being (though, as I mentioned in group today, there’s stuff lower than pond scum; I’m that… So, technically, not human).

There’s also a whole lot of shame and embarrassment and… Feeling like I have no right to feel sad around the death of L’s dad 2 years ago today. Part of it stems from G being such an ass around who “truly mattered” (read: #1=him, #1.2 & 1.3 = my brother & I, and everyone else was miles below). It feels like I would fall into the “miles below” category for L’s family, so I have no right to feel anything at all around his death (when in reality, I know L thinks I should feel something. Wants me to admit to feeling something around it). It’s just so difficult to get past that early training sometimes…

I feel so undeserving of taking up space & resources.

Part of me feels strongly that I would benefit from having a service dog trained to mitigate both the mental health stuff, and the physical. When I’m put on the spot and asked to explain my reasoning though, I falter. There are other people out there who really need a service dog to get through their lives. It would just make mine more comfortable. That’s not a good enough reason. I don’t deserve the special considerations, or special accommodations. I’ve gotten through life this far, I should be able to get through the rest of it without asking for special treatment. I don’t deserve it. There are others out there way more deserving than me. Who do I think I am asking for something so huge?! It wasn’t freely offered by someone without prompting, and I’m being entitled for asking. How dare I?!

Old tapes are often impossible to erase…


jumbled, confusing, pre-verbal stuff

Some days, the sensations in my body make me want to rip my insides up so I could stop feeling them.

We talked a bit about memories and sensations and interpreting pre-verbal stuff. She said that sometimes the pre-verbal is all a jumbled mess, and sometimes it’s interpreted by what we can later connect to it, even if its not accurate to the moment.

I told her sometimes it feels like I’m one of those plastic dolls whose legs pop off if you twist them back enough… I know it can’t possibly be an accurate memory because I have both my legs still. She pointed out that it may have simply felt as if my legs would rip off, but I had no other reference for it at the time, so my brain made the connection to those toys, and kept it because it’s the “best explanation”…

We also talked about how there’s still this internal pressure/compulsion to talk about some of the flashbacks sometimes, but it tends to get caught up when I walk in to her building. I no longer have words for it, and the connection to it leaves, so I struggle to bring it up… We talked around that for a bit, and got a tiny bit in one direction, but then time was up.

Some days I wish I could bring her home with me in my pocket so I could pull her out and talk when the strong drive was present… it only still feels ok to talk when it’s almost impossible to do so. I guess there’s a measure of safety in the impossibility of it.


Endings suck…

…Even stupid, meaningless ones that shouldn’t suck as much as they do.

Like tv shows that let you escape yourself.

And fictional characters dying.

Because they tug at the old hurt of all the losses that came before, and were actually meaningful…

It compounds when more than one loss is piled on at the same time. Then suddenly everything else comes flooding back, and it sucks…

The stupid, meaningless losses take on all the hurt and emptiness the previous ones left you with…

At least Lucifer wrapped up the series well, almost as if they were planning on ending it this season. They could take it further, but this is a good stopping point. They gave is the closures we needed to be able to walk away from the show satisfied.

Scorpion, not so neatly wrapped…

Totally left without closure; Chris passing away Monday. She had gotten through so many health issues over the years, ones that were true miracles she recovered as well as she did… I guess her body finally gave out. I’m not even sure if it was the cardiac issues, the kidney issues, the cancer, or something else that finally took her. Before this week, she had beaten cancer, recovered from kidney failure, and was recovering from bypass surgery… she and L were friends for a quarter century (give or take a year or two). I had only met her after I stated dating L, but she was an amazing person. She is greatly missed.

… Then the older stuff picks up; L’s dad, Chow, ButtButt, K & T, Floppers, Twigs, Tigger, Dizzy, Sugar Cane, Almond Joy… De, Chrispy, LKB… All the endings that were sudden, painful, and unresolved.

It all gets rolled into a giant ball that feels choking and overwhelming.

This time of year seems to hold a disproportionate amount of those losses…

And then there’s July 7th (the anniversary of K’s death, and almost 14 years later, my first suicide attempt… there were only ever 2 thought-out attempts where it was a conscious choice. Anything else resembling one was an impulsive, desperate attempt to find some peace, but not necessarily an attempt at ending my life… I blame it on the meds. I’ve never done anything like that when I wasn’t spiraling out of control on psych meds. Even when I was ridiculously depressed, I never gave in to the impulse when not on psychotropics. They work wonders for some people, but I am not one of them)…

Back to the original point of this post: grief sucks. Losses suck. Especially when the biggest, earliest ones were never resolved…


family

I think that word has very different meanings for me.

We were always taught separation. My dad’s blood family was all that mattered to him, so that’s all he acknowledged. Everyone else was just “shit”. He didn’t promote contact with anyone outside his immediate family of origin (foo). We were isolated from almost everyone else, and even within his own foo, bitch was top, then him, then grandma, then K. Mom factored very little. K’s husband, T factored very little. Moms family was just unheard of (he made sure of that). We talked a bit about them and to them, but overall, they were essentially non-existent (in his eyes anyway).

I’ve only recently (like maybe the last decade or so) gotten in somewhat more regular contact with one of my cousins. We chat online a bit, but I think I’ve only seen her maybe 6 times my entire life (and we lived relatively close, like maybe a 4 hour drive, for several years). I’ve seen her parents a few more times, but that was only after she & her siblings had grown up and moved out… even then, I think I can count less than a dozen times.

Tonight, my mom informed me that her brother (my cousins’ father, my uncle) had gone to the hospital for a head injury. Apparently, this happened sometime last week, and no one thought to tell us (at least my brother and I. Mom may have known, but she’s not big on communicating stuff like that about/with anyone).

When I found out, it hit me just how disconnected I am from my extended family; I have no real emotions around him being in seriously ill health… I’m not even all that connected to any emotions my mom may have around it (though she’s never been big on emotions either. None of my family has).

I feel like it’s wrong somehow, like society is generally connected with their families unless there’s been some big rupture. The only rupture was my father. I should be connected with my aunt & uncle & cousins, but I’m not… and I think I’m a bit resentful about it.

I see L with her family (it’s a HUGE family), and I feel like we got the short end of the stick.

My dad made enormous effort to keep us isolated from everyone.

It sucks.

So now I have no real connection to family. I get the concept that we have an extended family, but… it’s just not in my radar for the most part. And I’m mad.

His isolation enabled the abuses that happened night after night. His anger resulted in a fear of reaching out, or attempting to connect with anyone (after all, any connection would be promptly severed once found out). We weren’t allowed to care for anyone outside the little dysfunctional circle that happened to include his foo…

The dissociation doesn’t help any. I feel like I’m just floating in a world where I don’t belong (or even truly exist). People have no clue about so much of my life. Everyone’s merely an acquaintance. Aside of L (and as of today, our friend DO), no one knows I have a dissociative disorder. At most, they’ve been told I have ptsd, but no one knows what it’s from; they assume I served in the military…

Most everyone in my life sees this shell, this act. They might notice I hit some bumps along the way, but mostly, I’m either shy and awkward (99% of the time), or chatty and awkward. I’m the crazy animal lady with the pet snakes, who also does art here and there…

I feel like I don’t actually exist. I must just be a ghost floating around.

I never expect people to remember me from one meeting to the next, or care about anything about me. I’m the awkward tag-along friend you invite because you feel sorry for them. I’m the wife you tolerate because we come as a package deal. I’m really not sure why L married me. I’m just the awkward one tagging along behind her to family functions. I don’t deserve to be there, nor am I really wanted there, but I’m crashing the party…

I shouldn’t be here still. I have no purpose or usefulness… but here I am, tagging along in this weird body that feels like a poorly-fitting borrowed dress. If I think hard enough about it, I can kinda find some connection to the C they think they’re supposed to get, but… I dunno. It just feels like a suit, like pretend. That girl who graduated college? Not me. The one who had a career? Not me. The one with friends and family? Not me.

I’m just that shadow in the corner… nothing to notice or want to be around; no substance, no presence, no worth…


To Dr. C

Dr C,

Talking to A Monday brought stuff up, but I’m not totally sure what. There’s a lot of the past floating around, and I’m finding myself really easily startled and frightened…

My head was literally spinning today, it triggered vertigo somehow.

There’s body stuff I’m feeling, and… I don’t even know what else. My heart races over nothing. I feel shaky, like I haven’t eaten in days, but in reality, I’ve been stuffing my face. I wanted to cut; to destroy my body; to pulverized it and stab it and shred it and break it and burn it… and by my body, I mean my pelvic area, where the feelings are creeping in again.

I wish we hadn’t talked about body. The kid really wanted to reach out, but my mouth was glued shut. I wasn’t sure how to speak about it without just screaming… so I kept quiet.

Only now the things I didn’t say are finding other ways to be noticed.

I really wish you were here coz I could talk to you about it, but you are still away through Monday… I don’t feel comfortable bugging A about it. There would be too much to explain… she kept saying she didn’t know my history; she hadn’t read what you gave her. Part of me wished she had. That way I wouldn’t have to figure out how to cram an explanation into the session and still have time to address what was happening in the moment… or just skip it all together because I couldn’t condense it that far.

I can feel the anxiety rising again. There are memories and fantasies and fears all happening in my body at the same time. It feels like I’m throwing imaginary scenarios in to drown out whatever is trying to surface. Imaginary stuff that I create in my head is much easier to control (and tolerate) than the stuff that actually happened (maybe? They’re memories, right? They’re valid? Or maybe even those are all stories?…).

I want to do that body drawing stuff she mentioned because it feels like something the kid could use to communicate. He still needs a translator, but maybe that would help? He seems connected to the idea…

I want to try some more kid techniques sometimes. Maybe the stuff that’s stuck would become unstuck? The kid that talked to De while I colored really likes that idea too. She wants to do more of that. She liked talking… I think she told the boy, because he keeps peeking around the corner wanting to try it…

There’s really not these others inside, but it just feels like there are others there, and I just don’t have a better way to describe the feeling.

SJ’s gone. I miss her. She was the most brave about talking. She was the face of the other kids. I dunno where she went. The boy misses her too, and the other girl and little blue monster all miss her. She was both 7 and 70. She was protective, but little, but also… I dunno. A container for the other kids? Now that she isn’t here, the others have to speak for themselves? Maybe she split into them when she ran off? She was older when she left though. She felt… I dunno. She wasn’t really older, but now the memory of her feels older? Does that even make sense? She left as a kid, maybe 5 or 7, but now the memory of her leaving feels like a young adult having moved away from home to get on with her own life. She pops by to say hi every once in a while, mostly to the kids, but she’s moved on with her life… like the babysitter going off to college or something.

I know these are all constructs of my head to order and make sense of things (and to keep safe), but it feels so separate. It kinda feels like other people who maybe speak a foreign language, or are extended family, or something… I dunno.

And they shift and change over time. I guess it’s me shifting and changing things as my understanding does the same. Sometimes they make sense as they were, other times the narrative needs to change to compensate for discrepancies. I guess it makes total sense if you look at it all as constructs of my head to help navigate life… they change with my understanding and head-space.

I’m really glad you will be back next week. I hope the trip was fun. I’m really glad you are back (and I was really relieved when I saw you post stuff on ig)…


nightmares

Haven’t woken that terrified from a nightmare in a long time… the current president started a nuclear war, and bombs were going off on the horizon. Everyone I was close to was out and about at the time. There was nowhere to go to be safe, and the other people in the room just watched out the window at all the mushroom clouds…

I can usually wake up and ground myself, but the fear from this one isn’t leaving as easily (doesn’t help that whatever this ailment is effects my heart rate. It shoots up with the slightest effort, and stays there for the next few hours)… also doesn’t help that current leadership is stupid enough to do something like that… 😟😭

It’s weird; the nightmares of the past that should truly terrify me simply make me numb, but ones like t-rex from Jurassic Park finding me no matter where I hide, and this morning’s nightmare… I can’t shake them after I wake up. There’s something to be said for dissociation and numbing. It certainly makes life emotionally easier to float through.


Brain fog 

My head is in a complete fog, and I have no energy. I think it’s because my body is fighting off some ailment. L had a wicked stomach bug this weekend, and others I know have had the flu or respiratory things… I’m just hoping I make it through without succumbing to anything…

Last session, we were taking about the extent of my dissociation (when it happens), and ways to try to pool the knowledge from the various emotional states. Dr C suggested trying to “bring all the emotional states together, like at a conference table”… I had trouble wrapping my head around that concept, but I think it was mostly being uncomfortable with the conference table idea. The more I sat with the concept this weekend, the more I was able to ease into the idea. Though I switched the thought of a board room to the concept of a living room, it’s kinda sounding more possible. I’m not sure if I can make it happen, but I was able to doodle out what the different emotions look like, and to write out what I think of when I think of them… they kinda have personal appearances, though they are not actually totally seperate entities… I understand then as all just different emotional states, and can notice when I “slip into” the different mind sets, well, for most of them. There’s two that feel like completely seperate characters. While I’m consciously aware of feeling different in the others, and can access what it feels like to be, say, the brooding teenager, there are two kids whose heads I can’t get into. Those I walled-off more efficiently than the others…

I’ve always felt like my head was set up kinda like a house, with doors that closed to each room. When I was in one room, I was totally in that room. I had knowledge of the existence of the other rooms, but I couldn’t tell what was going on there, nor did I have efficient working memory of what may have happened when I wasn’t in a particular room… More recently (like the past decade or so), it’s been closer to different characters in each room; like an actor slipping into different roles in different sets. The two “kids” are different actors though…

I dunno where I was going with that. Brain fog offs moving back in…


:/… I flubbed my other opportunity

I’m not sure exactly what I was hoping to get out of talking to Dr F about my memories, but I don’t feel like I got what I needed… I wish I knew what it was I needed. I know part of it was wanting to talk to her about her experiences with her other patient who self harmed like I did (without breaking confidentiality of course), but I didn’t know what to ask or how to ask about it. Other than that, I’m at a loss for what I needed from the interaction. 

She was wonderful about it, but I felt like it was a waste of her time (nothing at all she did, all my own judgements about setting an appointment just to talk about history). I know she was trying to make me feel better, but she kept underscoring that everyone has something they don’t talk about. It worked to help me feel more isolated (everyone else seems to be able to handle their shit, but I cut to within inches of my life because I can’t handle some stupid physical sensations)… 

She was really great about things though, and offered to have me come in again in 6 months or so to check in. I declined as much for financial reasons as for not wanting to be a thorn in her side. She laughed and said that insurance will cover “problem” appointments, even if they only cover one annual ever 2 years… I guess she’s not pissed at me if she offered to have me come in more often just to touch base. Maybe next time I will find a way to talk to her about her experiences with that other patient.


It’s futile

Every once in a while, I get up the nerve to try to explain why someone’s comments in support of trump are hurtful to others; that what the man stands for and how he behaves are abusive… and every time I come up against people telling me how wrong Hillary is. I didn’t bring her into the conversation, but that’s their only defense. 

I’m back to feeling like I did growing up; that there’s no escape because no one believes there’s a problem. 

I know a huge chunk of the country (and the world) is seriously disturbed by the election results, but it feels like our cries are falling on deaf ears… it’s futile to argue or try to change things…


Triggers in random places

I saw this article on my Facebook feed, about a father who sexually abused his daughter several times, but will be spared jail time “for the sake of the family”. I understand the denial and reaction from the family (it sucks, but it’s all too common). What kills me is the court’s validation of that denial (though that doesn’t exactly surprise me either)… I didn’t think I’d have such a strong reaction to it, but it’s hit a nerve. 

I’m angry and crying and so sad…

Some of what the family said to gain leniency for the father are things I’ve heard within my own family growing up. While the circumstances were not the same, the denial of abuse among certain family members took the same path…

My heart is breaking for the little girl in that article. I want to run over and protect her myself, since no one else in her life seems to want to do it… regardless of any “evidence” that the dad will not assault anyone else, the kid deserves to feel safe and supported. She shouldn’t be forced to continue to live with her abuser, or to see him ever again. It’s not fair to her (even if she feels she needs to protect him)… her life will never be the same because of him. She will deal with this the rest of her life. Yeah, she may get to a point where she’s more healed and balanced, but she will be forever impacted by not only the sexual abuse, but her family’s rally around dad… who is there rallying for her? She must feel so invalidated and worthless…

What are they teaching their kids with this, that you can break someone, but as long as you’re sorry it’s going to be ok? Bullshit.

It’s not fair… she deserves so much better.  


Intrusive thoughts and insights

I find myself thinking about the past a lot, even when I’m trying to distract. It’s seeping through both my conscious and unconscious thoughts. I try to distract from it only to find it making an appearance unintentionally…

I think that was what triggered my sudden and “baseless” anger that later faded to resignation and defeat. I wasn’t really sure where it came from, or why it would quickly dissolve into sadness. I think I put it together finally; I had been absent-mindedly messing with watercolors this afternoon. I was trying to rekindle the relief I had found in session by painting “blood”, then later painting the feeling of comfort cutting would bring. Without meaning to, the pattern the watercolor took on resembled an image representative of the images/sensations I struggle with. I noted the resemblance, them moved on to another page to experiment with more watercolor. 

I guess the first image stirred stuff up because in less than 30 minutes, I was feeling rage bubble up. I snapped at L about something stupid, and wanted to isolate. The rage fizzled to resignation and depression shortly after… I wasn’t able to identify a potential trigger though till after returning home and contemplating the mess I made with the watercolors. I realized seeing the first piece that reminds me so much of trauma bubbled the anger again… and shame. I’m ashamed that the art I was trying to use to satisfy the desire to cut turned into a trigger. I’m ashamed at what I see in the splotches. I’m ashamed of the conflicting emotions it brings up.  I’m feeling a resigned sense of acceptance about these “memories” being accurate… and there’s grief there too: grief over losing the life I had thought I lived. I guess Dr C was right; this depression is at least in part fueled by grief. 


Emdr (TRIGGER) 

Did some emdr kinda spontaneously on Monday. I was really struggling with some intrusive memories/body memories, and Dr C had extra time. 

We aimed for my resistance to emdr, and to deal with the fears around it. That quickly progressed to the body memories. It was fragments of things flooding in and washing each other away just to come back in a few minutes. It was intense. I think I was dissociated through some of it because we worked on re-centering and returned to the fear around exploring these memories. 

One of them was really weird. I think it might have been a memory of both the dissociative experience and the abuse melding together. It was similar to a strange dream, where impossible things are happening, and I’m at once experiencing them and watching them. I was at once floating in the ocean feeling the sun on my body, and being molested in a bed… 

It was incredibly intense afterwards and I kinda freaked out. It was the longest I’ve sat in Dr C’s parking lot after a session (almost 50 minutes) trying to center again. I’ve text her a lot since then. I feel like I might be pissing her off. 

Part of the emdr also covered the self-harm. It feels like the shame and guilt around it are gone, but at the same time, there’s a fear of the consequences. I guess that’s good. I want to destroy the parts of my body that remember the abuse, but I also want to avoid the hospital. 

I made another appointment for later this morning to process this with her. I felt like I was bothering her too much through text. I’m also hoping that seeing her in person and talking about this will help set my mind at ease about the process. I’m starting to remember some of this discomfort and turmoil after the first round, and I’m starting to remember that it passed in a few days. It’s been a bit better this morning. 

I had a really weird dream/memory/thing last night (another thing she said would be normal and expected). In it, I was a kid curled on my bed trying to sleep (similar position to how I was laying in bed last night, so I’m guessing the position was a lead-in to the memory)… it was another impossible situation though. There was a snake moving around the backs of my thighs and found its way between my legs. It felt very strange, not what my pet snakes feel like when I hold them, so I’m guessing it was something my understanding substituted for what was actually happening at the time… it reminded me of an article I read a few years ago that described the arrest of a man for animal abuse and assault when the kid said the man molested her with his pet snake. I think the man told the kid his penis was “his python” and so the kid kept calling it that… it’s quite difficult to make a snake do something it doesn’t want to, and a snake has no interest in worming it’s way into tight body orifices… 

Anyway, so… yeah. I’m waiting for time to pass before I have to leave for my appointment. My body is still shakey from my lack of sleep, and probably also from everything the emdr has stirred up… I wish I had the availability to do that intensive emdr now, but I have to be at work for the next few weeks… I might dissapoint my boss and end up needing coverage soon if I stir up too much. I’m trying to be available out of a sense of obligation to help out (staff vacations need coverage, and one of the main customer service reps is leaving for a full-time job after my boss gets back from her own vacation), but maybe I need to be a little less available. I have the option at this point not to work at all and just concentrate on my therapy. In theory, I should take the time I need to help me alleviate my symptoms… but at the same time, work is a good distraction. I didn’t exactly plan to be less available when we are already under-staffed, so I shouldn’t feel guilty about needing to say no, but I do… L and I need the extra money to help fix the car situation… and I have a huge thing about helping out, even to my own detriment, when someone needs it (especially someone I like/respect/care about). When I first started working there again, I was a bit better about maintaining my boundaries and not taking on too much. I’m falling back into that need to please everyone. I can see it heading to a huge disappointment when I finally find the courage to say I can’t cover too much… ugh. 

If I could find a way to just do therapy super intensley until I got to a point where I could get a handle on the symptoms and triggers and side-effects, then I could be a real, functioning human again. Insurance has limited that though. They don’t want to pay my therapist for more than one session a week. They don’t want to pay for an iop or php because I’m not in crisis (and if I was, they would want me inpatient first)… it’s frustrating how little they help when the whole reason I have them is because I struggle with mental health issues enough to make regular functioning near-impossible… there’s hope though. I just switched to the basic Medicare, which I’m lead to believe covers stuff easier than the crappy advantage plan I was on… starting September 1 st, coverage for therapy should theoretically be easier. 

There’s a tightness in my chest from all of this… Maybe I will ask Dr C about trying an iop as adjunct to the emdr we are doing. Maybe medicare will pay for it in hopes of getting me to a place where I can get off disability and get back to a real life. I just wish there was a close trauma iop or php… Maybe I could get into that place in Boston this time around (I was too acute 5 years ago when we first tried it. I landed in DC because their program was able to do crisis stabalization).
Sorry this was so disjointed and scattered…


They feel far away

It doesn’t feel real anymore, those “memories” that felt so real when I lived down south. The further I get away from having lived there, the less convinced I am that they were real…

Dr C says that it’s “normal” for trauma memories to be encapsulated & only accessible during certain conditions… I believe her because I trust her expertise, but at the same time, I doubt the validity of my own experience. Yes, if they are true, they explain a lot of seemingly random and unexplained things (like my strong negative reaction to male genitalia, my intense dislike of being touched unexpectedly, the weird body sensations that seemingly never leave, the huge gaps in my memory…). But…none of those memories feel real anymore. As out-of-touch with my earlier adult life as I felt while living at home again, that’s how out-of-touch I feel with what came up living “at home”. The only difference is that I had proof of my early adult life (a resume I could look back on, friends, my wife, journals to re-read, etc). I don’t have that for my life growing up. The only journals I still have are ones that talk about friendships and kid things. There’s nothing in the book I found that would corroborate the story in my head. There’s no person that could or would validate it. Bitch took my journals from middle and high school when she stayed in my room after I had moved to my aunt & uncle’s house down the street for my senior year in high school (they were already dead and the house had been sitting empty for a few years. Some vandalism happened. I jumped at the chance to get away from my parents’ constant battles and offered to “live” there). It started as only sleeping at their house, but eventually I spent more and more time there. At the point I left for college, I had been living at the house full time for several months. My mom moved in there shortly after I left for school; she needed an escape from my dad also… he was really abusive to her. I think she used the excuse that I had left my animals at the house and they needed tending, combined with the house needing the “security” of being occupied. My brother stayed with him in their house, but he had always been safer with G. There were a lot of double-standards flying around when I was little, from both sides (though it took me a lot longer to see some than others). My brother got away with a lot by my dad. He was held to much different standards by my mom & K. The same was true on the flip side; I got away a lot lighter with mom & K than I did with G… I realize now that so much of what I thought was normal growing up was actually really abusive. I had thought my brother escaped much of it, but in reality, he just caught it on another front. 

I’m connecting with some of those memories that came up while living down south simply by having talked more about growing up, but they still feel just barely out of reach. It feels like something I can just barely brush my finger tips against if I reach out really far. They don’t feel totally fake when I think about the specifics of growing up there, but they still don’t feel real either. Part of it is that I don’t want to delve into describing them too much here. What if they really are simply a sick, twisted story I tell myself. If I wrote about them, they would potentially be damaging to those others involved. Unlike the domestic violence incidents, I have no corroboration to them and they are not “public knowledge” within my circle… it feels irresponsible to write too much about them right now. Another part is simply that they are very disturbing to me. I’m afraid of thinking about them and accidentally flooding myself with trauma memories I can’t contain. They do enough of that unbidden, there’s no use inviting it outside of the safety of Dr C’s presence… 

They’ve faded again for the most part. It’s back to the faint tingles in my body, the echos of touches… these I can handle at this level for the time being. There’s no drive to cut the memories out of my body. They don’t trigger a desperation to be rid of them at the moment. They had in the past; it’s how I ultimately ended up at The Center in DC 5 years ago this past week. They had tripped me over into desperately doing anything to change the sensation in my body. I didn’t understand them at the time, I just knew when they got bad, I needed to cut the feel of duckboy out of my body… and in my dissociated state, I admitted to the doctors that there were other memories I was trying to cut out, but the only ones I consciously remembered then were the duckboy ones (it was a combination of disturbing and validating to go back and read that the concept of other sexual abuse had been brought up years before I “remembered” it down South. I have no memory of telling the doctors at the er, but apparently I did during more than one visit. And I didn’t read those files till after the memories surfaced with De; after I had switched to TL)… if I think too much about them, or let my brain wander towards those memories, they intensify and threaten to flood again. I can’t afford that right now…

Now I’m afraid to write any more and also afraid to put this down to try to sleep. They feel closer again, threatening again… I feel like I have to keep rambling to “hold the door” against them, but not rambling in a direction that helps them push forward. Maybe if I put this away and try some music I’ll be able to sleep for the hour or so before I have to wake up. I could ease some of the tension and just cut, but that would bring about a whole host of external consequences I really dislike. Better to sit with those urges instead of giving in. I’d break my “clean” steak also, and that would be frustrating to realize in the morning… yeah, better to try to listen to music and sleep a bit more.


The fill-in therapist is nice. 

Talking to Dr C’s fill-in today was helpful. I brought up my continued issue with taking responsibility for things (specifically my student loans). She gave me some tools to help ease the automatic tapes that scream at me every time I think about my inability to repay the loans… I’m not sure her suggestions helped as much as her repeating a new grounding mantra a few times (something about being an adult, away from my past, and not wanting to allow myself to continue the abuse)… her approach is different from Dr C’s a bit, but it’s helpful in the moment. Dr C is good for getting at the root of all this stuff and dealing with the past. Fill-in therapist’s approach is more cbt/reality and good for handling things in the moment (while also still accepting that I’ve lived with the abusive tapes since I was little, so it makes sense that they would have been adopted as my own)…

She’s a good fill-in therapist. I’m glad Dr C ended up finding her (she was the third choice, as choices 1 and 2 didn’t work out). I’m not sure I could work with her as a primary therapist (cbt/dbt tends to trigger failure tapes), but it was really helpful today. 

I’m still shaking from having called the student loan people, and kinda dissociated, but the tapes it usually triggers are much quieter. 

Only 2 more weeks and Dr C is back. Well, she’ll be back in the county in just under 2 weeks, and we’ll have group that week that she returns, but individual doesn’t start up again till the following week. 

I need to get in gear now and make some sample journal pages for the two things I want to demonstrate in tonight’s workshop. I think only 2 people are coming, but I still need demo pieces. 


Surprise! Another trigger…

There was a scene in the Empire pilot where one of the sons was remembering the first time he dressed in his mom’s heels in front of his dad. The dad got really mad and grabbed the kid. He stormed out of the room with the kid under his arm. The mom yelled after him, scared and angry…

Something about that scene hit home, but I’m not totally sure how or why. It hit really hard. It winded me and made me cry. It felt overwhelming and heavy. It still feels overwhelming and heavy… I can’t tell if I related more to running after him screaming, or watching him storm off with the kid, or being the kid under his arm… or maybe all of it? But it dug at something deep.

Part of me wants to reach out to Dr C, but I can’t justify bothering her on her weekend. I’ll just try to cover it Monday (along with everything else I want to cover – how to deal with her month away, more of what was in that journal entry from 2 weeks ago, the anniversary, the growing depression…)

I want my heart to creep back into my chest; it’s still on the floor…


Kid fears

After last session, I wrote to Dr C… well, I wrote a reaction as if I was writing to her. She hasn’t actually seen it yet.

Anyway, in the reaction, I disclosed some embarrassing/shameful/disgusting stuff… and now I feel like she thinks I’m a horrible person who she never wants to see or hear from again.

It doesn’t seem to matter that I know she doesn’t know this info yet. It feels like she would know it simply because I wrote it in the form of a letter to her. It feels like, because it’s now on paper and it was written intention of informing her, it has somehow psychically made its way to her brain. She surely knows, has suspected it all along, and knows I’m scum. 

It’s similar to the fear I had that the person I think abused me somehow knew I was saying those things after I told Dr C; that somehow merely saying the words released the knowledge into the universe and it made its way to the person I was talking/thinking about…

My rational brain knows this is not possible. My rational brain understands that there’s no way either of them could know what I was thinking… yet the fear is there. The discomfort and anxiety is there.

Do you ever catch yourself in anxious trains of thought that you know can’t possibly happen, but you fear them anyway? It feels like such a little kid fear…

I’m trying to think of what any of my therapists would have said about it. De comes to mind. She would always tell me to be gentle with the kid side; acknowledge what s/he is trying to communicate, and offer comfort. Maybe the kid just needs a hug and to be reminded that Dr C hasn’t hated us yet, I doubt she’ll start now (even if I hate myself for what I’ve finally admitted to in detail).


About therapy last night (**trigger warning, talk of: abuse, self harm, past suicide attempts)

There was a moment of soul-crushing pain. It felt like my chest may cave inward. I could barely breathe through it… no. Just no. I spent the last hour (?) telling her things… they are impossible fictions. I’m not sure why I need to lie about this stuff, but I just do.
They’re not consistent stories. They’re not complete. Some I’m aware of as scripts (I didn’t actually remember them at the time, I’ve just read what I’ve written in the past enough times to be able to recite them. There’s no emotion. I just know what I should be saying)…

I can’t sleep again tonight.
I think we got home around 10:30. We didn’t come to bed till about 11:30. It’s 2 and I’ve already been awake for 20 minutes. I wish I could sleep. But I’m confused about the session last night. And the body memories are loud right now… right now, I can feel the scripts I was reading earlier. There’s a physical aspect to them. The emotional is just tired and spent (and maybe a bit scared).

I just want to sleep.

Please just let me sleep…

There was another point in session where she suggested an activity that involved tracing my body outline onto a large piece of paper. I nearly sunk into the chair and ran out of the room at the same time. In that moment, the thought of laying down on my back to be traced was utterly terrifying. Body memories flared up throughout every part of me. I could feel being held down. I could feel being touched. I could feel the panic… I wanted to curl into the tightest little ball ever. I wanted to hide. I wanted her to just stop describing the activity because no matter what words were flowing from her lips, I was sure it meant even she would hurt me.

I want to rip the skin off my entire body. I want to stab my legs. I want to open my arms up and let all the blood flow out. Part of what I felt and remembered last night must have been one of the hospitalizations. I felt tubes hooked to my arms, and a fuzzy, sleepy feeling. I didn’t want to wake up again. I really, really, really just wanted to fall asleep and not ever wake up… must have been from that time I OD’d for the first time… it would make sense for the emotions that came up on the way home once I was finally grounding… the emotions and the situation fit nicely into the OD attempt from 2007 (last night, L was out, I was supposed to meet her there after therapy. Therapy had been really unsettling and triggering. I thought about not going to meet L. The urge to self destruct in more ways than one screamed in my head. I thought it would actually work before she would be able to get home… I really just wanted to fall asleep and not wake up again). So instead I called her once I was home (I thought about calling her on the way home, but I was using really loud music to help ground. I needed to keep it loud till I got home). I got directions and managed to ask her to give me clear instructions on what I needed to do and where I needed to go. I got lost trying to get to her anyway – a place not 7 minutes from our house, but I messed up twice and ended up towards the other end of the road (near the hospital). I was still checked out at the time I arrived. I was supposed to help out, but it was getting late, and I was in no space to do anything that might require competence. I sat outside on the porch instead. I stayed there until I could finally feel the chill. I would have stayed there until it was time to go if L hadn’t come to chat and tell me to come inside even if I wasn’t going to volunteer…

I’m so exhausted, but I just can’t sleep. I feel like I need to keep talking about the things we opened up in session. Except when I go to talk or write about it, I freeze. I’m scared. It’s hugely triggering. It’s also something I shouldn’t indulge if it’s a story I’ve made up… yet there’s this really strong internal push to keep talking. I dunno…

I’m scared. I’m scared of continuing to address this, but also scared not to address it. I’m scared either will land me inpatient again. Both feel potentially hugely triggering, but one will trigger self-destruct out of fear of what’s being communicated, and the other will trigger self-destruct out of anger at ignoring things again…

Suddenly, I’m remembering Catherine. She was a case manager(?) At one of the hospitals I was at back in 2009. I only remember working with her one time, but apparently I was assigned to her more than one stay. I want to say maybe she was told more than I remember. I know she felt safe that second time (even though I thought I was meeting her for the first time)… she argued with the psychiatrist about the ect he was trying to force me into that time, and fought to get me into a trauma program out of state.

I wish the body sensations would stop. They don’t let me sleep (well, them and the chaos in my head). They are closing in on intolerable level… it’s nearly 3 am now. I can’t believe I’ve been babbling on for so long… it’s helping though. It’s helping stop the circles of thought. At least getting them down gives me a safe place to store them so maybe I can sleep at some point… Maybe I need to try to see the aprn at Dr C’s office and get something for the sleep… it’s been too many nights of poor sleep, and too many days of not being able to eat much of anything. Maybe I should try herbal tonight? Might be an improvement over the lack of sleep… I dunno. I really just want to be able to sleep.


Journal page update

Worked on this page again today. Still trying to figure out what to do in the top left corner…

An artist friend suggested a nose, though at first I was thinking the lack of one is symbolic of how depression makes you feel like you can’t breathe. I dunno. It still needs something. The right side definitely needs work too, but that’s looking like a total overhaul. This side just needs *something*…

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I have to admit though, I worked my butt off on those stupid strings sewing her mouth shut. I must have redone them at least 5 times. They look a bit better in the photograph than in real life, but I’m still pretty proud of them. I had originally planned to glue actual thread on there, but wanted a more 3-d look to her lips, so I painted them in… I’m sure they look amature to more experienced artists, but they’re the best I’ve done so far. I’m happy with how they turned out.


More art

Worked on this page today. I’ve had the under layer done since September, but hadn’t figured out what else to do with her. She’s still a work in progress (didn’t mean to make the gold above her eye look like bangs), but she’s getting there… gonna get rid of the bangs and sew her mouth shut… not sure what else will happen, but that’s part of the plan.

Gelatos over gesso’d magazine page. Feather is gesso’d steps of origami paper.

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So many layers!

I think I’ve finally finished that fold-out, multiple-layer journal I started forever ago… it’s truly a mixed media piece. I don’t think there is much I didn’t use: spray inks, collage, acrylic paint, stamping, two types of embossing, textiles, sewing, pen, charcoal, wax pencil, stencils, rub-ons, stickers, washi tape, vintage paper, grommets… among all the layers, I used a ton of stuff (my journal isn’t too happy about it; the spine has been stretched almost to capacity). I think I finally feel like it’s finished (it only took 2 months). I have to admit, the hidden layer was way more triggering than I had expected. It made me want to rip my insides out in order to stop feeling the body memories. The additions I did to that page took less time and artistic effort than any of the other pages combined, but it took the most emotional energy. I stuck with it though and just kept going with the art. I focused on painting the heart and getting it closer to anatomical correctness. I thought about asking Dr C for support, but changed my mind. I was determined to wade through the triggers on my own… it worked. It took all day to complete and now it’s waiting for Monday when I can talk to Dr C about it.

Here are the finished pages (except for the hidden layer):

The top page says: “be the author of your life… write your own ending”
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The left page (with the heart) says; “don’t think of all the things you fear, just be glad to be here”, and the right side has a Harry Potter quote; “I don’t care! I’ve heard enough, I’ve seen enough, I want out, I want it to end, I don’t care anymore!” … “you do care. You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death from the pain of it…”
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And some progress shots:


Write the saddest story you can in 4 words…

I saw this on fb…

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“I loved you once…”

it can have so many endings:

…but then I remembered.

…and you betrayed me.

…then you used me.

…and I saw your true colors.

…you broke my heart.

…I still love you (and I don’t know why)…


it’s hard to admit…

why is an abuse history so hard to admit? the shame should not belong to me. it was not something I did to someone else. it was done to me, so why is it still hard to say “this happened to me”?

a few co-workers and I were commiserating on insurance quality when I was asked where I get mine. I was able to admit being on disability for ptsd, but when asked what it was from, I couldn’t utter the words… I said “other stuff” (I was asked if I had served, since this is still the first thing people think of when ptsd is mentioned)… they didn’t ask for more details. I wouldn’t have been able to give any even if they had.

at the dentist the other night, I couldn’t check the box that would have disclosed my ptsd diagnosis to them… granted, the office tends to be pretty inappropriate in their banter around patients, so I have reason to hold back, but still. I doubt I would have disclosed even if I didn’t know they talked about their patients freely in front of other patients. it feels like a character flaw. it feels like something that deserves the shame it carries…

stigma, ignorance, judgement… our society oozes it. compassion and understanding are severely lacking on all fronts (see the articles about Charlie Sheen being forced to disclose his HIV+ status because a tabloid believed the public had a right to know his private medical information, or any of the stories on the plight of Syrian refugees). it feels like more and more people I used to peg as understanding are spewing their judgement at every turn… ignorance and hatred are running rampant. it makes me sad, and it fuels the fear that keeps me from admitting my own struggles to the people in my life.


“It sounds like a little kid thought process”

We talked in therapy today about how the distraction and delay is morphing the urge to self-harm into a drive to accomplish the hurt in some way. It feels like there’s no balance without the hurt. If I don’t do it to myself, I need someone else to do it for me.

Dr C asked if there was an urgency to the feeling, something along the lines of “let’s hurry up and get this over with”… then it hit me: it’s anxiety over what is “supposed” to happen next based on all the signals and triggers. Dr C suggested that it was a “little kid” way of gaining control over the uncertainty of when the unpleasant event would occur (she used the word “abuse” but I hesitate to call it that… not that it wouldn’t fit the label, but I can’t call it that at this time). Hurting myself would give me control over when the hurt happened. It would also set in motion the unpleasant consequences I know would follow (and of which I dread the arrival). It would end the anxiety… I guess looking at it like that, it makes sense. I’ve struggled for years with trying to understand the drive for being hurt after being triggered. She summed it up in a few sentences.

I wish I could have said that this revelation helped alleviate the desire to cut, but it’s still there. I’m still feeling the need for the hurt. I know I’m safe in the moment. I know this last week brought up a lot of old stuff. I’ve been running the grounding mantras through my head since the triggers first started, but my body is not listening. The sensations aren’t letting up. The stuff that was triggered last night keeps playing out in my body. No amount of reasoning is helping that…

We talked a bit about the distance from the newer memories that has grown cavernous since the move. I was telling Dr C that every time I got to a place of accepting that those memories were fake, they would pop up in a flash then hide away again. She suggested that it sounded as if I had processed them and filed them away again. I’m not sure they feel “processed” so much as they feel disconnected. I don’t remember them at all, even when I read what I wrote about them (those just seem like stories). There’s no emotion around it unless it comes up in flashback form. I’m totally seperated from it. Dr C still calls it “processed”, though we did throw around the idea that I’ve simply dissociated it again.

I didn’t get to voice my desire to pick up the therapy pace, but she offered an additional session this week without my asking. I don’t really have the gas money, but I took her up on it. I really need to launch myself past all this. The more depressed I get, the more I fear falling apart again. I don’t want that to keep being my future. It’s scary and hopeless. I want something better.


I need a nap

Therapy today was emotionally intense. I dissociated almost immediately when talking about the past…

I’m finding I need to assert that it’s all fake before I can stomach talking about it.

Dr C mentioned the dissociation a few times, but it was safer that way. She suggested I hang out after session and work on grounding. I agreed to sit in the car and listen to music for a while. I know I wasn’t totally back at the point I left, but I was getting antsy sitting there.

Once I got home, I could barely keep my eyes open. I pictured curling up with L in bed and feeling safe. I turned on Netflix and promptly fell asleep.
When I awoke, everything inside was calm and relaxed. I was grounded and present. It’s incredible how exhausting therapy and dissociation can be…

I don’t recall all the specifics of what we talked about in session, but I know we touched on the domestic violence, my previous eating disorders, and a bit about the abuse…

I so want to be through all this. I’m tired of struggling with the memories and after-effects.


Homework

I’m supposed to work on loving my kid self. She wants me to use art to show my kid self being a care-free kid. She had originally said to show her being hugged or cuddled, but I’m nowhere near that point. The closest I can come right now is passing her Beary… it will have to do.

We were talking about childhood, and what it meant to get in trouble. I could only access the stuff I’ve known all along. The new memories didn’t make it to my descriptions. Another check in the “they’re fake” column…

But then there’s the stuff I feel in my body. It feels so real… check in the “they’re real” column.

I just don’t know…

I was mad at her today, though I’m not sure why. She didn’t do or say anything insulting or mean… but every time she brought up loving my inner kid or younger self, I just got more and more frustrated. I think I was stuck trying to convey how scary that would be, yet she kept insisting. The concept of (care-giver/person in power/parent/adult:kid) love and care is so messed up in my head. For some reason it translates to hurt and violation, and that’s all my inner kid could hear today. She didn’t hear that Dr C was advocating actual care, she heard am adult planning for her to be hurt…

One thing I never thought about, but which Dr C  brought up today: where does that hurt I dissociate from end up? She thinks some part of me is holding it but out of my awareness. I guess technically, self harm should hurt. It should trigger pain. Only I’ve stopped if it ever does… I’ve gotten so adept at dissociating pain that I don’t even know where the sensations end up being felt. It just feels like comfort to me… (it branched from a combination of trying to explain that care was confused with hurt; and that I hadn’t cut in a while now).

I dunno. Guess I will have to think about that one some more. She seems to believe the pain had to go somewhere. I’ve never given it much thought. I’m certainly not aware of carrying it around.


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?


He Never Hit Me (Huffpost link)

Powerful read… He Never Hit Me (Huffpost.com)

“By hurting me, he showed me he loved me. He cared enough to go that crazy. He cared so much that he was overwhelmed by anger or jealousy or sadness and simply couldn’t control himself.”

Sometimes I think the hardest thing to integrate is the coexistence of love and abuse… very confusing.

 


Insights

In talking to TM today, something hit me. We were discussing my utter surprise any time someone actually likes me or wants to see me again. She asked if I’d heard it often growing up. I realized that the only person who ever told me I was worthless was bitch. Everyone else kept telling me how wonderful I was (but don’t let it go to my head). G always felt fake and over the top. Then I realized that hearing how good I was, and how smart I was is coupled with memories of some pretty shitty stuff. It felt like such a revelation when I was able to voice to her that I didn’t want to believe I was good because that would mean crappy stuff was going to happen, yet I don’t want confirmation that I’m as horrible as I believe I am…

Part of my shock when people like me comes from the incongruence of knowing those people won’t deliberately hurt me. How can I be good if that’s not coupled with abuse? That doesn’t compute in my brain, at least not in the emotional one. She was trying to ask if being aware of it made a difference. Sadly, the negative voice in my head is so loud and overpowering, I have trouble believing my rational side.

When I say people should hate me, I’m not looking to hear the opposite from them, I’m just mired in an old emotional/cognitive pattern. I’ve been aware for a while that I have a confusion around associating violation with “genuine care”, but I hadn’t put together that my emotional brain associates being liked and worthy and good with abuse…

Too bad this is coming at the end of working with TM… at least I heard back from Dr C this morning, and she is willing to work with me when I return. It’ll be much easier working with her. And I’m SO glad I don’t have to “start fresh” yet again. (Telling TM about returning to working with Dr C was what prompted the admission that I’m constantly surprised when someone wants to associate with me again).

Oh, and now TM and I are back to the original end date… we talked about it, I avoided making the decision. I attempted to distract her, then we returned to it at the end of the session. I told her that I was unsure, but that I needed to feel in control of the ending. In a moment of weakness, I admitted that I would really like to keep seeing her through the next 2 weeks if it was still an offer. I started to give voice to that negative stream of thought that said she was probably really just wanting me gone, then I stopped myself and let her tell me what she thought or felt about it. She said the offer still stood, but that it was also going to be accompanied by the plan to call her or the crisis line if I started to get overwhelmed. Check. I can promise that. I work really hard to keep my promises, especially to people I care about. Now I just have to keep from getting overwhelmed because I really don’t want to bug her between sessions, and I certainly don’t want to have to call their crisis line.

Now I’m off to the beach for some centering time. And I’m feeling good after talking to TM today, so hopefully no further planning will happen while there (like I said, don’t want to bug TM between sessions). I’m sure I’ll post pics later. It’s funny how I used to hate the beach, now I want to be there all the time.


the safety of a doorknob disclosure

With the end looming for my therapy, I find myself wanting to spill all sorts of info to TM. I’m not sure why. I suddenly have questions and thoughts and I want to ask her a whole bunch of stuff about my abuse and ptsd and self-harm… why can I only muster this resolve when I’m moving on to someone else? It’s like it only feels safe enough to bring all this up when the threat of having to see the person again is over. I am suddenly realizing I trusted her enough to express this stuff, but I kept freezing and getting scared before. I always worried she would hate me or use what I told her against me in some way. I didn’t think she would actually do those things, but I feared she might… Now I want to get as much support from her as possible, only it’s too late because there isn’t enough time.

These are the ultimate doorknob disclosures. They are all the big things I was scared to address, but now I desperately want to find support around… :sigh: Will I ever learn to do this while there’s still time to talk?