Tag Archives: avoidance

Fictional parallels

So, the plotline of one of the characters on Blindspot continues to unfold. I had initially thought that they dropped the story line, but they moved forward with it the last several episodes. 

It originally stared last season when one of the agents ended up arresting his former coach/mentor on child sex abuse charges. The agent (Reade) initially thought that only his peers had been abused, but one of his old friends from that time clued him in to his own abuse. Reade had no memory of any of it. His only hint at proof came from a tape with his own name on it that he found in the coach’s apartment among the stash of tapes the coach made of the abuses.

They introduced some minor hints around it being accurate, but they didn’t focus much on it. Mostly, they showed Reade’s avoidance of it. Looking back, they did a pretty decent job of portraying the denial/overwhelm stage of remembering abuse. 

The most recent episode ended with Reade sitting down with Zapata to watch the tape he had stolen from the apartment. 

The whole story has my interest piqued. I can relate to so much of it: the total dissociation of any memories for decades, the sudden confrontation with an alternate “truth”, the anger, the denial, the pushing it away… I find myself holding my breath to see what happens next. I want to know that I’m not totally alone in how I’m experiencing things… and I want to have some sort of guidebook through all of this. I know Dr C says this isn’t abnormal, but it’s nice to see it presented that way more places than just her office. It’s kinda like feeling alone for so long, then finding someone else that sees things the same way you do. I know it’s just a TV show (and they can still take it in the direction of Reade never actually having been abused), but it’s relatable… it’s the same relief I find in going to the new group (though that is technically over as of Monday). 

I dunno… I forgot where I was going with this post. Maybe it was about finding something to relate to? I dunno… Blindspot is proving to be a decent show despite the frequent cheesey-ness. And unlike Nashville, it’s handling the child abuse ramifications more accurately. Nashville introduced ptsd basically in one episode, then “resolved” it in the next. Blindspot is taking a more accurate approach to the topic. I just hope they follow through on it rather than end it with the whole thing simply being a “scare” for the character…

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Avoidance

I think I need to have a conversation around avoidance with Dr C… I find it difficult to go in after a week and try to delve right into difficult stuff. I tend to talk about the weekend and allow the session to veer from the heavy things I’ve been holding onto for the week. I was able to eventually mention the memories from the weekend, but I didn’t talk about it to the degree I wanted to address it….


More connecting of the dots (or, the elegance of the avoidance dance)

When you’re “allergic” to dbt, you and your therapist have to get creative about integrating ideas from it into therapy.

Yesterday, I was having trouble identifying what was causing my rollercoaster emotions. Dr C and I came up with a chart to help figure it out… she used the dbt diary card and the behavior chain as a jumping off point. We had events, people around/involved, emotions, sensations, and thoughts as the first level. Then another two levels of emotions, sensations, and thoughts, and finally a level of just emotions and sensations. I could fill it out haphazardly and incompletely, then she helped fill in some of the blanks & connect some of the dots… at the root of everything behind the emotional ups and downs is terror (and the avoidance of it)… it’s weird, because the word doesn’t do justice to the overwhelming and crushing nature of the feeling, but it’s the closest word for it.

I’ve been trying to keep up with filling out the chart more often, but I’m finding that it becomes pretty triggering to look at the things I’m trying to avoid (duh!). At least in therapy, it was safe to open up that can of worms. Dr C kept talking with me about it, and that prevented me from getting too lost in the bottom layers. I’m kinda worried/scared that looking at it at home wouldn’t give me the same ability to pull out of what is stirred up. Yeah, it’s probably a cop-out to avoid addressing it, but I need to keep functioning this weekend. There’s work and social stuff happening. I can’t be a wreck… so I keep avoiding.

There’s a fear behind the avoidance: what if it overwhelms me? What if I can’t regain control over the impulsive thoughts? What if I fall back into a cycle of hospitalizations?

Sure, I could reach out to Dr C for support, but how much can she really help if the panicked child and the angry teenage are both triggered and overwhelmed at the same time, and I lose my connection to my adult, competent understanding of things? I know I’ve come a long way since the last cycle of hospitalizations, but the potential of it coming back scares the crap out of me.


Running from sleep

I can’t bring myself to put my phone down and try to sleep. It’s not the familiar terror of falling asleep, but a feeling of running from something I don’t want to deal with. As long as I’m awake, I can avoid whatever it is in my dreams tonight that wants to haunt me.

I’ve felt like I was running from something for a while now, only I’m not sure what. I suppose I could give in and let it have a chance to catch up with me, but there’s an anxiety around that… I have no real clue what “it” is other than something anxiety-provoking.

I guess tonight’s safe enough to try to slow myself down; I see Dr C tomorrow for a second season this week, then again on Thursday for group. There will be plenty of chance to touch base around anything that might surface.

It’s just that it’s… I dunno… kinda scary. I’m not sure what I’ll find, and i’m not sure I want to actually find it.

I guess I’ll eventually have no choice, but… can I run from it a while longer?


Running

I’m running from something, I’m just not sure what.

In the half hour it took me to drive to Dr C’s office, I went from being apathetic about therapy, to not wanting to go, to being mad at myself for not canceling in time, to wanting to cry my eyes out… after chatting about our weekends, and discussing book binding, I finally managed to tell her about not wanting to be there, and wanting to cry. We talked about my other desperate bids for distraction lately also (wanting to spend all my time on art, or working out how to accomplish going bioactive for all my snakes while also upgrading them on a tight budget)…

I dunno. I definitelyam feeling something intense, i’m just not sure what. Dr C seems to think it’s a desire to improve my own quality of life (because of the focus on the animals). She could be right ::shrugz::

I’m just so tired both physically and emotionally. It’s frustrating and it’s getting old. I want to not be so tired all the time.


Still running…

Noticed today I’m again “running” from whatever it is in my head that’s threatening to consume me.

I still cannot pay attention to only one thing. I have to keep moving and keep bombarding myself with stimuli. It’s almost got an adhd quality to it, but it’s more pressured and deliberate (well, ok, as deliberate as your actions can be during a frenzied escape from whichever horror movie antagonist you choose to imagine)…

As Dr C said at the end of Thursday’s session; “there’s more work to be done”

I’m covering part of a shift for one of my coworkers tomorrow. I hope that proves to be an ok distraction.


I worried about my walls for no reason…

I managed to keep my walls relatively intact today until the very end, when she asked about something, and I looked at the clock “oh, sorry, time’s up.” I said. She looked at me, looked at the clock, back at me, and said we’ll tackle it next session. She threatened to write a note for herself so we’d be sure to get to it.

There were a few moments I almost cried as we talked about the move, but I held it together and quickly changed my line of thinking. It was relatively easy since I had nearly 10 days to craft my walls. Everything is at a distance right now. If it threatens to come rushing up on me, I hide in bed, or blast music at myself, or listen to one of the meditations, or force myself upon my friends so I have plenty of distractions. Oh, and alcohol. There’s plenty of reliance on that right now too.

Part of me wishes I hadn’t wasted a session when we have so few left, but another part of me is really happy I didn’t activate all the neediness and hopelessness that’s just beneath the surface.