Group was really triggering again this week, though I think it was that way for everyone (there was a text exchange afterwards, which usually doesn’t happen. We only use the group texting to determine attendance).
Anyway, I feel like a turd because I took my triggered anxiety and unease out on my wife this afternoon. It wasn’t a horrible fight, but we were both cranky, so we both snapped at each other. We’ve talked and cleared the air since but… I feel bad.
On top of that, I’m still on edge from group. If I stop bombarding myself with stimuli, the flashbacks pick right up again.
I dunno. There’s so much going on internally, and stressors from outside keep piling on too. It’s all starting to feel overwhelming.
The teenager is wicked pissed with my therapist for challenging so much lately, and for seeming to change her contact policy without warning. The kids are scared about getting in trouble, & about having her mad at us… the adult sides are the only ones that seem to be dealing ok with her lack of responses, but they’ve also retreated into the basement so they don’t have to deal with the attitudes…
I’m having a lot of trouble finding internal balance…
Tag Archives: changes
Group was really triggering again this week, though I think it was that way for everyone (there was a text exchange afterwards, which usually doesn’t happen. We only use the group texting to determine attendance).
In session today, we talked about the total disconnect I have with everything relating to the “memories” these last few days.
She says it’s because I’m really good at dissociating things.
I reiterated that none of it feels real. (I left out that nothing feels real at the moment. None of my history feels like it belongs to me, not even the things I’ve known all along). I reiterated that it’s all just a story I made up, though I can’t figure out why I would do it.
She said that she believed me anyway. She said I might not have any connection to it at the moment, but she was there when the part of me who experienced it also re-experienced it when I told it.
She said she’d hold the “trueness” of it for me…
Ok… that’s good. Because it feels like a tornado whipped through a store-room full of cabinets and sent the papers flying everywhere. Things are mixed up, employees are battered and confused, and the secretary is running around trying to put it all back together again in some semblance of order (hopefully back where it all belongs). It’s nice to have someone take the weight of the truth away from all that running around and fixing… I picture a woman carrying a huge manual while trying to also pick up random scraps of paper. As she bends down to pick up something else, the manual tips to the side and starts to open. It’s tall and held together with flexible rods through one side. It’s much easier to pick all the stray papers up if the manual is not in her hands…
The boy grew up while we were talking (briefly?). For the first time in several sessions, I actually left feeling ok; like I had stated to talk about what was pressing to come out. I’m not quite sure what the boy wanted to cover, but he seemed satisfied with whatever it was we talked about.
I still don’t like this process. I still feel like I’m falling apart more than coming together, but she says that’s a good thing. She says the system has outlived it’s usefulness and now it’s time to move on… I’m not sure I believe that last part. At least, I’m not sure I want to believe it.
I didn’t really have an idea for this page other than adding the rainbow inks… they didn’t turn out exactly as I’d pictured it at 2am when the idea came to me, but they turned out ok.
I had thought I was going to use the heavy gel honeycomb pattern as a resist when adding a black ink wash, but when it came down to it, I wasn’t sure I could get the look I was going for. I opted out of the totally dark background (the black letters would have gotten lost), and went way out of my comfort zone to keep the bg mostly white…
I had originally used a silhouette mask of a woman when laying down the honeycomb pattern. I wanted to highlight her in some way. I finally ended on cutting out another copy of her from the rice paper I had covered in gel medium. I tried to color her with blue gelatos… didn’t like it, so did my best to wash them off. Go figure, this time I can’t get the color to wash off completely. Anyway, I didn’t like the blue much, so I thought of drawing in her details. Then I thought better of it, and drew in a skeleton instead. I lost stream drawing by the time I reached the skull, so that part looks way more cartooney than I’d like…
It’s still a work in progress (more ideas of what to do both with the skeleton and the background), but this is as far as I’ve gotten… I haven’t worked on her in 2 days. I haven’t worked on the squares since the night I posted about them… I dunno. Motivation is sorta there, but energy and effort to execute isn’t.
The changing schedule combined with an inability to get to the basic chores I used to be able to do has me totally off kilter… I’m really missing Dr C. it’s going to be a long 2 weeks.
At least today I’m getting laundry done. It really helps that L did some “emergency” loads over the weekend. It left me with only 5 loads to get done today. I brought the dogs with me so they are not stuck alone in the house all day. While things are drying, we went for a walk around the block… now I’m waiting to go have to fold everything, then run the dogs home and head off to work. I need to remember to grab food when I drop them and the laundry off… it’s going to be a long day.
I’ve been having trouble sleeping the last week and a half. It’s not helping my ability to handle stress. I really want to be able to sleep more than 4 hours. It’ll happen again some day, I just dunno when.
Ok, driers are done. One chore down…
For the second week in a row, I’ve only had an individual session this week. It’s kinda weird. For the last 6 months, I’ve had at least group on top of the individual session every week. Many of the weeks lately have also included a second individual session… it’s weird not having all that additional contact. I really miss going to group, and I miss the opportunity to touch base with Dr C again during the week. It’s weird having to carry what’s in my head for a full 7 days. I’m not in dier need of the extra contact, but to apply a concept TL had pointed out: why wouldn’t I miss someone/something I see/have weekly for the past several months?
I’ve been working, so I’ve been distracted, but I still look at my phone at about the time I should be leaving for group… I missed it so much today that I ended up texting Dr C during group to say I missed it
I don’t think it helps that i’m feeling really exhausted with this new schedule. All the things I normally do to balance myself or relax have been pushed to the wayside. I haven’t done any art. I haven’t gone to group. I can’t focus on television much… I haven’t even paid much attention to the critters lately. I feel like all I’m doing is “going” until it’s time to go to bed. Even at that point, I feel pressure to get to sleep so I can get enough of it before I have to wake up and start again… I don’t know how L does it with her intense schedule. I can’t even remember how I had done it in the past…
I love this temp job. It’s super-fun and interesting. I’m just not adjusted to the schedule change yet. Sadly, it’ll probably be over before I can get used to it. Maybe I can talk to the boss and have her keep me in mind if they need help again down the line?
I dunno. I should probably get to bed now. I don’t have a good closing paragraph, sorry…
So, I managed to get in to see Dr. C on Monday. It was weird, awkward. I didn’t know how to answer her questions. I was too stuck on the functioning, “everything’s good” side of things to be able to access and verbalize much of the more difficult parts of the past 3 years. I noticed myself telling her things in a very detached and scattered manner. I jumped around and skipped things and back-tracked. A few times I told her I didn’t really know how to answer her questions. What I really meant was that I didn’t know how to answer them succinctly. I told her the truth of the moment, which was pretty watered-down and wrapped in that happy newness post-move.
It was weird because I didn’t feel as comfortable with her as I had prior to leaving. I guess I expected to be able to pick up where I left off (in terms of trust and comfort-level). That’s not how it is shaping up… She did make a few comments that caught me off-guard though. One happened when I was telling her about my reaction to reading the records provided for the disability determination. She said something along the lines of me trying hard to present one way, while still having all this darkness underneath (accurate point). The other happened when I told her that my inner child had left after starting to tell TM more about the newer flashbacks/memories. Dr. C called my inner kid a “personality”. That threw me. I never saw her as one. To the best of my knowledge, she never took over or anything like that. She was just a kid that lived in my head. She was ok to love and care for and protect. She was just a construct of my head though. She was a vessel for that other ickiness… Yeah, she felt really separate and distinct from me, but more of a character that I had lost creative control over than another personality… I dunno. The thought of her as another “real” person makes me uncomfortable; like if she really was, then I am even more “off” about my projected image vs. reality.
Anyway, at the end of session, she brought up the women’s group I had been in (LKB had suggested I attend the group back when I was still seeing her as an individual therapist). She asked if I was interested in joining it again. Apparently, it has dwindled to 2 of the original members. I agreed to join back up. It was good to see the old group members again. It was nice to catch up. I again found myself at a loss for what or how to say the things that had transpired in the past 3 years. My cheery, happy face was on and I had almost no connection to anything that wasn’t “good”.
Anyway, that was Monday & Tuesday. By Wednesday, the “newness” of being back had started to wear off. I find myself easily bored, though my sleep is a bit better. It’s more regulated by the natural rhythm of the days. I go to sleep when L does (rarely later than 11), and I wake up with the sun (which happens to be about 6am at the moment). Most of our stuff is still in transit. It gets here tomorrow afternoon. Finally!! I had forgotten to put my sneakers into the car, so I have not been able to take the dogs for any longer walks or hikes through the woods. Flip flops just are not conducive to hiking uneven terrain, or even to longer walks on flat surfaces. So they have pretty much stayed in the apartment. Hopefully next week I can get out on some of the trails with them.
I must say, I really miss the beach though. And it’s been chilly here: only the mid to upper 70’s. I’ve been used to the mid to upper 90’s for better part of every year these past few years. Brr!
I’m so glad our stuff will be here tomorrow though. I can’t wait to get things more situated, and to be able to get back to my art. I’ve done a bit with L’s supplies, but there is no real table set up yet. Once everything is placed, I’ll feel better about spending time on my art again. I miss it. I will have to look into local classes…
I have yet to call TM with the update. I thought to call her on Wednesday, but I was feeling too needy that day, so I refrained. I don’t want to turn my update into a support session. I just want to be able to let her know I’m here and settling in. I also kinda wanted to get her take on what Dr. C had said (or more correctly, her take on my reaction to what Dr. C had said), but thought maybe I should clarify with Dr. C first. If I wait for that though, I won’t be calling TM for over a week since Dr. C is on vacation next week. Though maybe TM could provide me with a reality check while Dr. C is gone. I dunno. I guess I’ll just take it as it comes.
So, TM doesn’t hate me.
She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.
I didn’t piss her off by calling for support the other day.
She returned my call and even said I could call her back to talk.
She was patient and kind and reassuring when I did. It was during her lunch, but she didn’t rush me.
She reminded me that there’s only a few days left anyway. Either I will be all set for the move or I won’t be, but it won’t be the end of the world.
She’s all for me going out with my friend tonight for one last trivia night. Her enthusiasm over that made it much easier to tell my friend I’ll be there.
She didn’t say much of anything particularly inspiring or profound, but she managed to say what I needed to hear: that she know’s I’m struggling with this; it’s ok that I’m struggling with it; and it will all be ok soon (for whatever reason, it sinks in when she says it, but it feels merely obligatory when L says it…).
Dr. C does not hate me either.
She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.
She scheduled an appointment with me for after the move despite me being so needy before even officially returning to her.
She has seen me at my worst, and is still willing to take me back as a client.
I get to hang out with M&B tonight.
M & I have known each other forever, and she still likes me.
B likes me by default I think… at least, he puts up with me.
I’m really gonna miss them when I go, but tonight we will kick ass on trivia.
Some friends will be there forever; M is one. I’m really lucky to call her a friend ❤
L will be here in less than 4 days!
I will physically see my wife again for the first time in 7 months!!!! 😀
I don’t know who will be happier: me, the kids, or L… I think maybe the kids, b/c there’s 4 of them, and they have not see her at all since she left last May. They get super-excited when someone returns from getting the mail, and that takes less than a minute. I’m sure they will not know how to contain themselves when L arrives.
We interrupt your normal read now to bring you this special report.
With the date of the move a mere 8 days away, I’ve decided I need to hurry up with my bucket list of things to do here before leaving.
Yesterday I text a friend whom I’ve gone field herping with, and who said he knew of a spot where we could find chameleons in the wild (though they are not a native species here, some pockets of populations exist). We made an impromptu trip to said spot.
Within the first 20 feet, I spotted a chameleon! It was a young female
Both of us were crazy-giddy at having found one. For me, it was a “lifer” (a herp I desperately wanted to find in situ). I used to own chameleons. They are my absolute favorite lizard of all time. I can’t express how excited I was to find one 😀
The rest of the night was uneventful. I think too many people know of that spot because she was the only one we encountered. But it was totally worth it. We also found a corn snake, several species of bugs, and a boar skull in a bucket (I’m guessing someone killed the thing and wanted to have the skull cleaned by bugs, so they left it in the field and will come back for it at a later date)…
Anyway, just wanted to share the chameleon find. It totally made my weekend!
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming 😉
Two years after this post, I am noticing the flashbacks are not as intense all of the time. I have habituated to the triggers to a degree. They are still easily accessed, and still difficult to ground from, but it’s not as much of a confusion of reality anymore (though after reading this post again I find myself slipping back into that feeling-state rather easily. I don’t mean to, it’s just that close to the surface still)…
I’ve certainly dealt with a lot here. Both L and I knew this move would be life-altering in some way, however neither of us knew exactly how. It’s proven to be life-altering on so many levels… L finally escaped the vortex of her draining big-box retail job to find something new. I faced more of the past than I even knew existed… It’s been an eye-opening experience. There’s still a lot to work out around it all though. It’s been over-all positive. I don’t mean the financial worries, the insane depression, the triggers, the flashbacks, or any of that stuff, but it has set both our lives’ onto an adjusted course. Had I not returned and been faced with all of this in a form of unintentional flooding, I don’t think I would have had the breakthroughs I did. I think I would have been struggling with faceless demons for a lot longer. At least now I know what I’m fighting. Now I know what to wade through to be able to come out on the other side…
As stressful as this was, I’m grateful for it. We met wonderful people, learned new things, went places we’ve never been… and I was reminded how much I love the beach ❤
In talking to D today, I finally found a way to describe what it feels like to live here again. We were talking about what is different down here, and how I feel like I can’t ground effectively. I likened it to lucid dreaming – where you know you are dreaming, but are also lost in the dream. That’s what it feels like most days (almost always) to be back here. I have snippets of the past constantly playing out in my head, be it emotions, sensations, or visual flashbacks, there’s always something there. I am aware that it is memories of the past, but I can’t shake them. I live alongside them daily. I am at once 34 and much younger. I remember sights, sounds, and smells. I can feel the sensations in my body. I can tell myself that they are the past. I am aware that they…
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I managed some sorting and packing today. I only packed maybe 3 boxes, but there was a bunch more sorting happening. I now have 4 bags plus one box of donations…
My back had it though. I was going to continue, but it put its foot down. I stepped and tweaked something, so I came to have dinner and sit for the evening. It has since stopped twingeing.
I keep having moments of panic around this move. The dogs certainly are feeling anxious. Mom’s dog is incredibly antsy and hyper. The others are starting to pace. Crusher has not been through a move with me, but the other 3 have gone through several… I think mom is also feeling the reality of the move (It’s only like 2.5 weeks away! Que Daffy Duck-esque freak out). There’s just something different about her… I’m trying not to cry too often and too heavily over this. I’m afraid if I let go too much, I will fall completely to pieces. The loss is too compounded and too huge.
I’m also seeing the notation on my calendar that next week is it with TM… 😦 Fuck. I like her. She “gets” me. She’s been able to decode my communication relatively quickly, and she’s up-front about things… She has a way of blending the professional side with the broken side. As much as I’m psyched to be returning to Dr C, I’m sad to be leaving TM. ::sigh::
Ok, gotta do something else now because tears are about to flow uncontrollably. Stuffing in progress…
I was up early this morning. I normally am awake, but in bed for several hours before I actually get up. This morning I physically got out of bed before 6:30am. I sat on the patio with the dogs and drank my coffee… the problem with that though, is the panic over this move and the losses kicked in earlier in the day. I did my online stuff already and it’s not even 10 am. I’ve finished all the distractions that normally get me through to 1 pm… now there’s time to think. I really don’t want to think. I don’t want to remember that everything changes in 3 weeks. I don’t want to remember that next week is my last session with TM. I don’t want to tackle the giant task of sorting things, packing them, and moving them. I don’t want to think about the fact that I feel people see my animals as disposable. I don’t want to be aware of any of the losses or changes coming up… and I don’t want to cry.
I suddenly feel very needy today. I want to be a little kid and not worry about anything, only I’m worried about everything.
Maybe if I get the dogs up-&-at-’em, their craziness will provide a distraction for the time being. I could do mani-pedis and give the little guy the haircut he so desperately needs. Then maybe I can clean out the snake cages I’m hoping to sell before the move… and… I don’t know. Hoping that provides enough distraction and draining to allow this panic to abate.
We found a place that will take all of our dogs. The move that was supposed to happen over a year ago is finally happening. As excited as I am to be back with my wife, the reality of the circumstances around the move are hitting hard.
Now comes crunch time. I have to pare down a lifetime of things to fit into 850sqft… and it will take our things 2 weeks to arrive. That means I have to figure out what we absolutely can’t live without for 2 weeks. That also means I have to get L to invest in some larger Tupperware up north because the critter homes will be in transit a lot longer than it will take us all to drive up… this should be “fun”, lol.
I’m still trying to figure out what to write to TM as my goodbye. I’ve not had this much trouble with expressing “thank you & goodbye” in a long time… I’ve started 4 times, and I’ve trashed each one. I’m supposed to have it for tomorrow. Dunno if that’s going to happen. Maybe by next week (our last session), I will have it down.
I have been throwing myself into my art lately because the holidays suck and because TL and I will be terminating soon (by the end of the year). I had hoped to have TL’s piece finished for her by today, but I screwed up part of it and had to re-do it (still waiting on parts of that to dry before I can move ahead with completion). When I went in, I showed her pics of the 2 big pieces I had been working on without telling her that one was for her. Unprompted, she actually said she liked hers a lot and wanted to buy it once I finished it… I told her it wasn’t for sale and she kinda frowned a bit but then went with asking if it was just a piece for myself. I caved and told her it was a gift for her, that’s why it wasn’t for sale (I was going to avoid telling her about it in case she was going to say she can’t accept gifts)… I’m still kinda blown away that she likes it. I mean, I’m glad she likes it because it would suck if I made it for her and she didn’t, but the thought that anyone would want my art hanging in their place is kinda shocking to me… I dunno…
We also spent a bunch of time talking about what it looks like before I crash so I can step in and do something about it. I was trying to explain to her that I’m getting better at figuring out when things are headed south, but I don’t always know what to do about it. She seemed confident that me knowing the signs and then forcing myself to reach out will help soften the blow. I think it would help more if I knew what I was asking for when reaching out…
I don’t see her next week because of the holiday (though she did tell me to call by Thanksgiving if I wanted to schedule something for the day before or the day after). She’s taking that opportunity to drop us to bi-weekly sessions. That gives us 3 more sessions together. I had meant to spend more time today talking about “what’s next” after we terminate, but identifying signs of a crash, and talking about the value of reaching out took up most of our time. Maybe next session I’ll be able to get around to really talking about it. I don’t want to not have therapy at this point, so it would be great if I could switch to someone else in the agency or if she could help me find someone else, but we never manage to talk about that till the very end when we no longer have time. L pointed out that the tapering-off might be as much for her as it is for me (especially with the holidays coming up). :sigh: I dunno. I want to be good and not be too needy, but at the same time I am starting to feel the impending losses (I’m also going to acknowledge that going up north for only a weekend will suck royally. I’m ok not missing L as intensely when we just talk on the phone. I know seeing her in person will ramp that up again. Walls and denial are easier when the emotions you are trying to deny are not thrown in your face. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t miss this trip for the world, but it’s gonna suck a lot when I have to get on the plane to come back without her)… so yeah, next month will be a fun barrage of missing people… I hate that I get so attached to a therapist. I hate that I can’t bring myself to be ok talking to friends and family when stuff is bugging me. and I hate that emotions always feel so overwhelming…
I was really hoping to avoid more loss before the move, but the universe has other plans apparently. 😦
How many times can people look down on us from solid ground and tell us “it gets better” as our grip slips and the dirt we are holding onto crumbles? I understand the sentiment, but unless you’re going to grab onto me to try to haul me up, don’t tell me it’s going to get better…
On a somewhat related note; I had a major anxiety attack over something I had not decided upon. It was very urgent and decisive and scary. I talked it out with someone, and I think the feeling originated from the lack of professional support I’ll have around this upcoming anniversary. I had pegged it as difficult back when thoughts about it surfaced over a month before. It seemed as if the same day I voiced these concerns to De, she decided to change jobs (with her last day being 5 days before said anniversary). I know it probably has little to do with me, but her departure is impacting me in a really big way at the moment. I wish the waiting list for the new clinic wasn’t so long. I wish the holiday wasn’t so close to the anniversary. I wish I still had some support around it. But that’s not life at the moment and I’m going to have to deal. I know it likely gets better, but right now I feel like the little guy hanging off the edge with my fingers quickly losing their grip while everyone else watches from the distance and tries to assure me everything will be ok… everything at the moment does not feel ok or settled or like it’s going to get better. Everything feels like it’s constantly falling apart. I have moments of breathing room, but they are quickly over-taken by moments of panic and hopelessness. Hell, just 45 minutes ago I assured L everything was ok, and now I’m back to panicking. Maybe I should make little ice cream sandwiches with my chocolate chip cookies from the grocery store. That will give my head something else to focus on while I pass the day. When did days get so tedious? When did I go from enjoying the time I had to explore and watch tv and go to the beach, to begging for the minutes to go faster so I can get through to night time, so I can get through that to the next day, and so on? I seem to be living desperate for some emotional peace and security, yet finding none. I hold my breath for my next therapy appointment because it feels safe there. I won’t have anything to hold my breath for come Tuesday, and that’s terrifying. My appointments with De have been my reason to get out of bed, to take a shower, to keep waking up (or trying to sleep). She had been my replacement for L lately, and now that’s going too I hope we can come up with something resembling structure for after our last session… and I really hope that, if De does not think it’s too pushy, she can help me call the new agency and bump me up on the list a bit, maybe? I dunno. Someone else suggested it. I’m not big on asking for stuff like that, but I also know the days around July 7th will suck.
today is the last full day visiting. I fly out tomorrow morning and we start our 3 month break while we try to get re-settled in our “old stomping grounds”. I’m a bit apprehensive. It’ll be ok, but it will be a big change. I will really miss L, and I’m guessing she will miss me. It will be weird being apart.
I’ve already started looking at places to live here, in hopes of not only finding something affordable, but someplace that will allow all three dogs. It should work. It will just take some looking… and friends of ours are willing to get a place together. that should help a lot.
here’s to making the rest of the day go slow enough to enjoy it fully. (deep breath)
While I have fallen back into being up north during this brief vacation, L and I are glaringly at very different paces. I feel a frantic pressure to see everyone and do everything before my departure on Tuesday morning. L is taking her time, getting back into the groove of things, and planning for the coming weeks. I feel bad unintentionally putting all this pressure on her. I want to be able to go out and visit friends, eat at our favorite restaurants, and check out my “old stomping grounds” in this very short 4 days we have left. I hurried trying to settle the car, I am making plans with friends and putting it on the calendar. The pressure is rubbing off on her. I don’t feel like just sitting around doing nothing. The nap we took today (while very much-needed and appreciated) felt like a waste of time. I need to be engaged and actively doing things because I want to cram SO MUCH into these few short days. Like I said, I feel bad about pressuring her. L is working on the time-table of remaining here where she can see friends and family as she pleases. If it doesn’t get done this weekend, it can happen next weekend. And I think she might be trying to slow time. Neither of us is looking forward to my departure… I hope the interim months go by quickly and we can get things settled so I can move up. As much as I love the semi-tropics, the beach, and the friends and family down south, I really miss here also. I miss the mountains and the hiking with the dogs. I miss seeing our friends and getting together just to hang out for a few hours. I miss seeing the kids. I will really miss L when I go back. In the almost 6 years we have been together, we have never been apart for more than 2 weeks, and even that was peppered with brief stays at home between my myriad of hospitalizations. This is the first time we will voluntarily and “healthfully” be spending time apart. It’s a little daunting.
In preparation for the return, I have been eyeballing houses with “for sale” signs on them in hopes we can swing a “rent-to-own” situation with one. The prospect of settling once again is appealing. I like the idea of trying to get our lives back on track. The thought of having to work again full-time is a bit nerve-wracking, but this whole environment is generally healthier for me, so it should be doable. The memories are quieter here (they did not originate here). I find it easier to fall back into a groove of trying to be productive. My head and heart feel lighter away from all those triggers at home (the physical environment). It feels emotionally easier to breathe, even if it’s just because I’m only visiting at the moment.
Anyway, it’s glaringly obvious that our heads are on different schedules. We will make it work though. I keep trying to remind myself to slow down, and L is very accommodating about my urgent need to do everything all at once. I know we will get through these changes in one piece.
for the first time in my entire history, I spaced on a therapy appointment today. I never miss appointments without extenuating circumstances, and never simply because I forgot, except for today. I was sitting there bopping to my music and making jewelry when my phone rings (rudely interrupting my very bad singing). I recognize the number as the one De calls in from, so I answer, still thinking nothing of it. We get through our greeting, and then she tells me I had an appointment with her today. She said she was wondering what happened because I call even if I’m only going to be 5 minutes late. In my defense, we have had our weekly meetings on Fridays since the holidays. I apologized to her and promised nothing was wrong, but I just forgot that we had switched to Thursday this week. Luckily, she has time tomorrow. This would have been the last appointment before a 3 week break. I’m still kicking myself. Either I’ve got nothing urgent to talk about, or I’m in massive denial about the stress next week’s changes mean (or some combination of both). Mostly, I think it’s denial. Next week, L and I head up north. I will be going for 6 days, but she will be staying up there to try to get us re-established. We have not packed much beyond 2 boxes. there’s still laundry to do, and plans to be made for how to get myself and the “kids” back there… and there’s no plan for how my days will be spent once I no longer have L around to pass the time. We are refusing to look at all this stuff, because it’s hugely scary (but also exciting). We don’t have the best track record for cross-country moves that actually accomplish what we set out to do. So now what? Panic has yet to set in. Even a sense of urgency might be helpful (less than a week…). I also have yet to “realize” that today’s session with J was our final one. It was the same as all the others. I didn’t make much of an effort to say goodbye, though I know I should have. The only thing different this time was that we hugged before leaving, and we did not make any further appointments or plans to meet up. I’m sure it will all hit at some point either this week, or when I get back on the 20th to find that “normal” no longer is.
Too many goodbyes recently. I don’t like it. Too much loss coming up and resurfacing. I’m trying not to realize that we effectively re-homed one of our cats (the one who is miserable here and much prefers living with the older couple down the street). The loss of Twiggy hit again today when a box of her specialized food arrived from the vet today. I guess they automatically send out “samples” of the specialized food when the test results warrant it. Too bad it’s 2 weeks too late… I miss Twig. I know she was hurting a lot before she was put to sleep, but I still miss her presence in the house. It’s ok to miss the ones you love, even if their passing is for the better. And now I will miss Danny too, though he is still alive.
So I’ve spent my days obsessing with jewelry-making, art, and spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need because it’s easier than dealing with crap that is about to slam us. I’m playing games on the computer and on my phone that I have not touched in weeks. I make every effort to leave the house when I can get away with it. I throw myself in to everything but the things that need addressing. Heck, I’m even working on random therapy stuff to avoid dealing with other, more looming, more frightening things. J has a quote she has told us many times in the last 2 months: “if you are just scared, you don’t want it enough. if you are just excited, you already have it, if you are both scared and excited, it’s worth it” (or that’s the gist of it). I think I’ve draped a thick blanket over everything because I’m neither consciously scared or excited about this, I’m simply going with it because that is what we have decided to do, and there is no real other option. If I look into myself hard enough, I see the fear and the excitement I’m trying so hard to ignore. I catch glimpses of it in the tears of loss, and the avoidance. I notice it in my drive to push every thought of it out of my head (because, really, who wants to realize that within the week they will be separated from their significant other for several months, or think of having to uproot everything they cultivated in the last 18 months). I throw myself into anything and everything that enables me to push the thoughts away. It will catch up real soon, but for now, I rival the skill-set of those most versed in denial and avoidance.
I find when things start to get hairy, I feel the need to be occupied by something or other 24/7. Earlier today we had gone out with friends to a local museum/gardens. Then L was asked to come in to work 2 hours early (making it an over-night shift), so she had to go to bed by about 5pm. I find myself bored and in need of something to occupy my thoughts. The house is SO quiet right now (except for the dogs occasionally barking). M’s not big on conversation, so the human contact is at a minimum. I really want to watch tv or something, but she dislikes the noise. I’m not really sure what to do with myself. I know if I head to the art room, the dogs will get antsy and make more noise than they already are. Yet I feel like I need to engage in something. Everything at my disposal easily leads to boredom. I could take the kids for a walk, but all 5 dogs by myself is kinda killer (when “the puppy” walks with us, competition to get ahead ensues. everyone else has since figured out that I lead the pack and they need to walk with me, but he fights me for that status when the others are around. the walk then turns to me being dragged behind 5 dogs running in slightly different directions. I don’t think my arms and shoulders can stand that at the moment).
I put music on in the background, but I’m plugged into the computer… Figures this would be the moment the puppy decides he needs to pee… Well, at least I was able to get all the dogs out to potty before the frogs came out for the night (saves my arm, much like not walking them all at once does). That took care of about 10 minutes. Now what?
I’ve noticed that there are times I need to be entertained; to keep my head occupied so the less-desirable obsessions don’t float to the surface. I’ve really been struggling with self-harm thoughts and urges these last few weeks. I’ve been doing ok keeping them at bay, but they are stubborn. I’m trying to be more stubborn. It’s difficult though. Really difficult. I keep finding nothing soothes them for very long, and that I need to keep occupied at all times so they don’t overwhelm me. The Wreck This Journal had helped for about a week but I find I’m losing steam in it. The paper cranes helped yesterday, but I can’t bring myself to do more today. Being out at Morikami helped today, but it’s over now. I want to watch more Grey’s Anatomy. Maybe that would help keep me distracted for a while. But I have to wait till M goes to bed. It would stress her out way too much (and she hates most tv programs).
I’m not quite sure what else to do with myself. I may draw or try collaging later if Grey’s doesn’t catch my attention for long. I need to stay with the dogs to head off most of their barking (so L can sleep some before work). Maybe the music will make the web surfing bearable…
I am totally relieved because J will still see us next week, then work something out to try to see us every other week in the evenings while L and I figure out this move stuff. She jokingly said it’s contingent on the move happening as planned, but she said she will look into it and see how her new schedule works. I’m so happy that we will at least have her support for another week, if not throughout the move process. I am a bit mixed about it though because I had started to come to terms with the loss. That’s fine. I will deal with it again as it happens. The support means more to me then does getting the loss over with to stifle the hurt. It’s kinda like with the dog: being able to have more time with Twiggy means more to me than getting the hurt of losing her over with.
We did give J the bracelet today though, and she seemed to really like it. She suggested that we try to sell them. I told her our audience was limited, but I would love to make some sales. We jokingly told her to tell her friends. I know it’s a confidentiality thing with her, but it would be nice to get more sales. I think I may look into opening an etsy shop for art and jewelry, but I would need to work hard on more inventory.
Things are looking up. I think me being a mess will be postponed for a while, and I hope to deal with it better when it does come… I’m so relieved.
…because dealing with the loss is more painful than I care to experience at the moment. L and I tag-teamed a bracelet for J. Hope she likes it. Took 4 revisions, but I think we are both happy enough with it to give to her next week (which, incidentally, will be our last session with her. Last week she had said 3 to 4 more weeks. This week it was cut down to one more week… still better than D telling me the day-of that it would be our last session. What is it with therapists and shitty terminations? I hope my ending with De is handled better)…
I also did 2 additional bracelets: one for myself and one for L. It was good practice. The one for J had the pretty blue geodes. L’s is the rainbow skull one, and mine is the girlier black skull one… I may still redo mine, but J and L’s are both set.