Tag Archives: crying

Hypersensitivity to smells (gonna whine now, feel free to skip reading this)

Back in November-ish, smells started to bug me. I’m not pregnant; I’m 100% sure of that, but strong (and many food) smells turn my stomach.

I mentioned it to my doctor, and she suggested I contact a local taste and smell clinic. They have a long wait, and I just sent out my paperwork yesterday, but I’m hoping they can give me some answers.

The hypersensitivity to smells is just one more thing that seems to be piling on to my list of weird symptoms that come along with the muscular pain.

While I’m waiting to hear back from the clinic, I’m struggling to get through the day dealing with most smells making me very uncomfortable. I’m hyper aware of the smokers in the building, I can’t stand the smell of cooking food… it’s so uncomfortable, I find myself wanting to cry (well, that & the muscle pain/cramps). Mint is a tolerable smell, so I’ve gotten into the habit of dabbing mentholatum rub under my nose to curb the nausea…

I dunno… the clinic’s website says they generally can only help about 1/3rd of the people they assess. I hope I fall into that 33%; I don’t want to have to live with this hypersensitivity (though my mom also has a similar intolerance for smells. She developed it in adulthood…)

I’m so tired and run down. Triggers around loss abound, and it’s not helping anything at all. A friend’s 6-year-old daughter died unexpectedly Sunday morning (in her sleep, cause as yet unknown, though she had several serious medical issues), it’s coming up on the anniversary of Chow’s death, my brothers in law’s dog passed away the same day I felt like someone died, but couldn’t think of any anniversary… and my 40th birthday is around the corner. I don’t feel 40. I don’t want to be 40. I shouldn’t have ever lived this long… Dr. C suggested that maybe this dread of age is rooted in past experiences (especially since it’s paired with the feeling that someone’s passed away)… it kinda makes sense… doesn’t matter though, since she’s now off for 2.5 weeks in the tropics, so I can’t really process that with her beyond Monday’s brief conversation.

I guess I have a fair amount of reasons to cry, but it still feels unwarranted… I’m just so tired.

The depression hit super hard a week ago Monday, and very suddenly; it felt like a switch was flicked. The intense depression hit, the muscle cramps and pain started, that bitter taste came back (it colors everything I eat or drink)… the smell thing is just intensifying… it’s all so oppressive…

So yeah, whining…


Grief…

I find myself wanting to cry at the drop of a hat… I’m ok as long as the distractions are there, but as soon as they subside, giant tidal waves of emotion take over.

I’m grieving something I thought I had. It’s mixed with depression and hopelessness…

I’m not sure exactly how to handle it.

Dr C believes it will all be ok in the end.

Right now it just feels like I’m drowning.


Blergh… (ok, honestly, I dunno an adequate word for this feeling/sound… also **POTENTIALLY TRIGGERING – SH, SUI**

I had another session today. I have been feeling so crappy lately, I asked for some extra time after group yesterday…

It was productive (and long). We talked about what’s causing so much anxiety, and what I get stuck on. At one point, I mentioned some of the financial obligations causing stress. She asked if I wanted to take care of the most stressful one there, and she offered to take over the phone if it became too much for me to keep talking. My responsible side kept bugging me to say yes, but my scared little kid side couldn’t move. We talked a bit about that, then she talked me through the phone thing (literally starting with telling me to take my phone out and find the number). Before actually placing the call, I mentioned the correlation with making an arrangement with this company in particular, and a subsequent hospitalization (so far, it’s happened after every time, and I wasn’t sure if I only had the courage to call them in an effort to lessen anything L might have to take care of in my absence, or if calling them triggered a hard and fast spiral)… she said we’d make a plan after the call to get me through the weekend.

The call was uneventful as usual. The lady I spoke with on the phone was professional. An arrangement was made, and I hung up. Almost instantly, the berating voices started screaming in my head “I’m worthless. I’m a piece of shit. I should have my shit together. I’m a failure. Why can’t I amount to anything? What a waste of space!…” and many more unkind things. Tears started spilling from my eyes, and I managed to choke out that this is what always happens after calling them. About 30 different self-destruct plans flashed through my head. In an instant, I assessed each for viability. More tears flowing unchecked from my eyes. I don’t really remember what else was said, but I was able to communicate the self-hatred and hopelessness.

I guess I started demolishing my soda can because she asked if the pieces I was playing with were sharp enough to hurt myself with. I was a bit taken aback. I’d never consciously self-harm in front of anyone, let alone in her office (it’s a safe space… though I must admit she’s pointed it out to me in the past when I didn’t realize I was clawing my arms during session).  Anyway, we talked a bit more, and she started saying something about me not being bad, and being allowed to make mistakes and ask for leniency. I can’t remember exactly what the words were, but they triggered a flashback… I just cried on the couch and tried to become as small as possible. Part of me kept silently apologizing and begging her not to hate me or be mad at me. Another part of me tried to remind myself that she would not do what I was remembering at the moment, that she was not the person in my memory, and that she was safe. The two inner voices warred to drown each other out.

None of it was voiced till after she stopped taking and I had continued to silently cry for several seconds. I think I actually interrupted her to try to explain what had been going on in my head… I found safe-enough words with which to speak about it; saying how frustrating it was when seemingly innocuous/nice (and common) responses to emotional upheaval and intense self-hatred were such instant triggers… I’m not sure if she was angry or sad that things like that had become so twisted in my head (not angry or sad at me, but for having gone through situations that caused the perversion of those basic concepts), but at one point I think I saw her hands move to cover her face…

We wrapped up that conversation and moved on to a plan for the weekend. I rated my intent to “harm myself” upon leaving. I said a low number, and she was incredulous (that sounds more distrustful that she actually was… more like pleasantly shocked?). I clarified that I wasn’t going to off myself after leaving. She clarified by asking if I’d self-harm. That number was higher. We talked about that a bit, then she again said we’d make a plan for the weekend. I was expecting to have to come up with the standard “what are you doing when you go home today? How about tonight? Tomorrow? Sunday?”. Instead, she asked me to hold on while she checked on her weekend plans… :gulp!: I panicked for a half-second and asked if she truly was just calling her husband (she’s never hospitalized me without talking to me about it, but others have). She showed me her phone dialing out to her hubby. I tried telling her I’d be fine over the weekend; that I didn’t want to interrupt her time with him. She promised she wouldn’t schedule anything if it interrupted their time together. She also said that she had promised to be there for me if I was having a rough time, and this was her way of being there this weekend… a few phone calls later, and we are going to meet again tomorrow either at her office or at her home office (tbd)… I’m still trying to be ok with wasting so much of her time, but she insists it’s not wasting it…

The ride home was “interesting”… I had trouble paying attention to the drive. There were points of the drive where I struggled with myself to keep the car at a safe speed and away from stationary structures. The whole time I worried that if I did crash, even accidentally, she’d think I had lied to her when I rated my safety. I try to be as honest as possible with her about things like that; it’s what built and keeps the trust. I’m more likely to say nothing at all rather than lie about that… I’ve remained silent in response to the safety question before, and we arranged for me to go inpatient like that in the past. I need the trust to be there. I get so low sometimes, I need us both to know that I’ll be honest about my safety even at the lowest times so I’m not again in a revolving hospitalization cycle…

:/

Sorry, that was probably tmi…

I think I need a nap now… catch you on the flip side.


Verge of tears (what’s with March?)

They’re right there. I can feel them threatening to erupt at any moment. But they never get past the gatekeepers of my eyes…

Talked way too much in group today. I took up too much time. They didn’t seem to outwardly mind though…and it helped the overwhelm a bit.

I wish I could cry; either salty or red, but something would be an improvement over all this stuffing… I’m so tired…

Is this a pattern? Do I always start a descent around February/March? When I was going to school, the breakdown started around this time of year. When I was down south, it was about this time of year that things would get really difficult… what’s the significance though? There are no anniversaries or major life events that I can point to. July is an easy one: K’s death, my first suicide attempt… even October/November is understandable with the start of the full holiday push. But March I don’t get. There’s nothing going on this month. Nothing happened in March. Why do I seem to struggle more during this month? I’ll have to bring it up to Dr C and ask if she has any theories.

In the mean time, gotta keep fighting through the days. Hope it doesn’t put too much strain on L & I (we’re both struggling in our own right, and it’s starting to show wear on the relationship. Nothing huge and life-changing, but enough to have us both testy and snippy with each other… resentments abound on both sides, though I’m not sure how fair either is).

I wish I could cut. Baring that, I wish I could cry. I’m so glad I have tomorrow off and to myself. Maybe I’ll be able to recharge a bit. I wasn’t feeling totally social today, but I went to my friend’s anyway hoping to just be able to sit and “be” outside of the apartment… she didn’t tell me she had company over though, so that failed… L and I are still touchy and talking it out over text (we seem to do better that way), but she’s also not feeling well. Took nyquil tonight and was out like a light before I got back…

I’m just so tired…


Invisible depression

It’s that weird “not depressed but depressed” depression variety. I want to cry for no reason (not even feeling sad). I have very little motivation. I’m exhausted all the time, but can’t sleep. I don’t want to interact with anyone…
There’s no sadness though. There’s no hopelessness (at least not overt). It’s just a lack of anything even remotely enjoyable.

At least I was able to admit it in group today. I had hoped to talk more about it, but again my head was wiped clean as soon as I walked through the door to the office building. I couldn’t think of what to say. I couldn’t talk about the journal or the recent increase in triggers. It’s so frustrating. It felt as instant and complete as when you shake a messy etch-a-sketch… I guess I should write things down for Monday.


depression and frustration

Woke up wanting to cry… that spot I was hoping to avoid is exactly where it feels like I’m headed. I’m resisting the desire to call out of work for today. I’m torn between thinking it would be good distraction, and fearing I will be too mired in my own shit to be competent at the job. Maybe if I we’re just in the back with the dogs, it wouldn’t matter, but I’m up front running the customer service today. It’s lonely up there, and there’s too much opportunity to think and feel…

I want to cut. I want to escape this overwhelmingly uncomfortable feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. Calling out today would put another notch in the “worthless & hopeless” column, but so would going in and fucking up with the customers… I feel like I can’t win.

The house is a mess. No matter how much I try to organize and clean, the entropy of the mess dictates that it will remain. A surface gets emptied only to be re-cluttered later on the day. I put things away so they are not talking up the little space we have, then they are too out-of-reach for L. I can’t win… I don’t want to keep doing this anymore. I’m so tired of trying, only to have it return to its original state…

I just want to sleep (and maybe cry more).

This wasn’t a good time to stir up all this. It was threatening to break, but I kinda had it under wraps. It might have held out till next week or the week after. I might have made it through the end of December without falling apart. Fuck… I Fuck up everything I try. *This* is why I’m scared of trying a real career again. I can’t hang on for more than 6 months without a breakdown…


Dear TM…

Dear TM,

Everything inside is collapsing, but I’m pushing through. I keep remembering you telling me to just power through these next few days and everything will settle more after the move. I wish I had recorded that conversation, because I could really use actually hearing it again right now.

not my image…

 

I want to cry and scream and break things. And I want to jump for joy. And I want to hide in your office and find comfort in your presence. And I want to go to the beach & take it in again before leaving. And I want to destroy myself. I want all these very opposite things all at once. I hate that I feel things so strongly, with very little idea of how to moderate them. I wish the feelings were not so intense. I swear I never grew out of that little kid stage where every negative emotion feels like it will kill me. It’s all so intense right now. If I’m not walling it off and numbing it out, it’s eating me alive.

I’m doing it though. I’m powering through without totally self-destructing. I’m keeping the sh in check. I’m reaching out to friends and family… Just have to make it through this weekend and the move.

I go back to see Dr. C on the 13th. I have to figure out how to catch her up on everything that’s happened in the last 2.5 years. I almost want to ask her for a longer session so I can get it all out at once (because I don’t think I’ll be able to see her again till August due to finances). I’m really hoping she will be around for a while. I think she is planning on retiring this year. I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t want to have to keep saying goodbye… :/ At least I know her and trust her. That will be good to go back to. I’m sure there will be an adjustment period, and I’ll have to refresh her memory on stuff, but it won’t be as bad as totally starting fresh.

Trying to remember to breathe…

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to maintain contact so badly when I’m leaving (but not being able to). I have not wanted to be friends with an ex-t in SO long… well, not friends, but I want you to still be in my life. Only I know even if I were staying we would have ended b/c I was crashing. This sucks. If I win the lottery ever, I will donate some to you guys with the suggestion that you work with clients for longer once again, and be able to provide more supportive services. Trust is SO hard. To have to build it time and time again in short order just keeps replaying all those childhood hurts. But you said you understood that, so I don’t really need to tell you so much as I need to tell the county… 😦

Anyway, I’ll shut up now. It’s not like you will ever see this. I hope you have a good weekend, and enjoy margaritas on your patio (did we ever talk about my margarita obsession? because when you mentioned it I did a double-take… fresh Lime in the Coconut margaritas are my favorites… another thing I will miss about here). L comes down Sunday, and we have already slated in margarita nights before leaving… I wish you could have met her (and she you)…

Anyway, yeah… I miss you a lot, but that call the other day helped a ton. Gonna keep reminding myself of all you said. Thank you for being so nice…

pieces,
sj


Need help getting unstuck. Ideas?

Any words of wisdom or motivation? I can’t seem to get unstuck at the moment. I have not been able to pack in the last 4 days… it’s crunch time. There’s so much to be done, but no amount of talking to myself, lecturing myself, yelling at myself, or trying to express any of this is helping with it right now.
I’ve tried being gentle, I’ve tried being motivational, I’ve tried bribing myself, I’ve even tried guilting myself, but I feel frozen.
Maybe dragging myself out of the house would give me some sort of pattern interrupt to get me moving again? I dunno. Maybe the beach would recharge me?
I can’t talk about being stuck without crying (and that’s if I can even find the words) I can’t pack without crying and freezing… I tried reaching out to a variety of supports without being able to get relief or a break in this heaviness.
I resorted to leaving TM a message asking for some support. It was a boundary I didn’t want to cross, but I’m running out of ideas. I told her that I wouldn’t pick up if she called back so that she wouldn’t have to waste more than a few moments on a message. The other reason behind that is that I’m not confident of being able to actually speak with her if I answered. As soon as I open my mouth, I start to cry. Even with L last night, I couldn’t get words out around any of this…
I hate all the emotions this anniversary brings up. I hate that it’s now compounded by the move (or the move is made more difficult by this anniversary. Both are accurate ways of looking at it)…
I just need to be able to function long enough to get things done. I need something to work to make me functional.


Feeling disposable

Feeling very disposable tonight. Not quite sure why. I have an idea, but… I don’t know.

Trying to hold the idea of being worthy of care, and that people actually do care about me in my head. It’s proving difficult. Part of that comes from shutting everyone out right now. It seems to be the only way I can function enough to keep moving forward. It’s the only thing that keeps me from dissolving into tears again.

I hate this time of year. I hate that I so easily fall back into despair. I hate that it is so much easier here, where all the reminders of the original events are in my face 24/7/365.

There’s so much swirling around in my head at the moment. I wish I knew how to sort it out. I might need to purposefully do some containment visualizations tonight. I’m grateful for TM’s suggestion of using the pensive. I don’t have to pay attention to where I put things, or try to stuff them in so they all fit. I can simply pull it all out and put it into the bowl. I know it will be held safely there. Everything can coalesce, but I will still be able to pick out what I need when I need it; easily and one at a time. I can put the whole mess in at once, and know I’ll still be able to find what I’m looking for when I’m looking for it. The house, family, the cats & dogs, friends, experiences (positive and negative alike)… it gets pulled into the pensive so that nothing falls over the rim. I will have the tools needed for pulling them out one by one when I want or need. It will happen safely and in a controlled manner…

Just have to make it through the next several weeks. Well, first I have to pull off the move, then I can worry about the rest of the month. At least I’ll be with L again. And the triggers won’t be in the walls and the trees… most days and nights, these walls scream with the past. The new walls may well scream for someone else, but I will not be able to hear them. Hoping for some internal peace after this relocation.


moving + shitty anniversary + stress + pms = crying every other second

yeah. that.

I hate crying, yet I can’t seem to stop.

I really wish I still had TM’s support this week.


venting

I can’t seem to stop crying. This move is what my wife and I have been working towards for three years, but it still hurts. And it’s all right at the same time as a really crappy anniversary. It just sucks. I’m not sure where to turn for real-life support around any of it. I’m not even sure what I would want or need as support. No one seems to be able to understand that it sucks as much as it does (I’m not sure even I totally get why it hurts so much). Everyone thinks I should just be happy that I’m back with my wife (which I totally am!), but there’s also this anniversary of my aunt’s death (she was the safe place to go when my dad got out of control), and losing her house, and having to re-home one of my cats as well as say goodbye to my mom & her critters, and leaving my friends, and having to have said goodbye to TM… and I’m pms’ing, which ALWAYS makes everything a million times harder.

It’s weird, because my ptsd got so much worse when I moved here, but the thought of leaving the week after next is also really triggering. I feel like I’m leaving my mom to an abusive situation again (did that at 17 when I couldn’t stay at my home any longer b/c of my dad), though this time she lives alone – there isn’t any current abuse, but it still *feels* the same, and I don’t know how to shake that feeling. I was never good at protecting her or taking care of her as a kid, and I’m no better at it as an adult. I feel like a little kid again. Writing it out here though, I’m realizing it’s probably mostly the old stuff, and it’s kinda helping to recognize that.

Yesterday I gave in and went out with friends for our usual Wednesday night trivia at a local restaurant. I should not have gone out and spent money, but I want to get all the time in with them that I can. It took me 10 minutes to walk into the place though. I couldn’t stop crying in the car. On the way home, I tore out of the parking lot and cried again when I got back into my driveway. I know I won’t lose touch with my friend b/c we’ve been friends since middle school. We just keep finding each other and catching up, but it’s another loss at a time when so many are already very prominent.

I haven’t cried this much since ending with De this same time last year. I hate it. I don’t know how not to be overwhelmed by this. I have to keep it together though. I have to sort through all my crap and pack it up and wrap up loose ends. All I want to do is either hide in bed and cry, or go to the beach and ignore the move (still trying to figure out how to get more beach time in before I leave).

I’m really hating that I don’t have a therapist to talk to right now. I could call Dr. C, but I need to ask her if I can skip a payment on my old bill next month. I don’t want to have to simultaneously ask for extra help from her when I know I can’t pay for it in the moment… I’m kinda mad the stupid IOP was so triggering. It would have been nice to be able to process some of this stuff. It’s easier to be rambling and directionless in my whining in a setting like that where it’s somewhat expected. And it would be ok to whine and ask for support. I don’t know how to do that with people in my life. I’m supposed to know what I’m asking for, and how to ask for it, and how to do it on my own before even asking. That’s just what society expects. That way you are not really asking for anything, just acknowledging that you are stuck. People don’t have to be made uncomfortable by not knowing what to do (even if all you need is for them to listen and care so you can just get the jumbled mess out of your head)…

I’m really glad to be back with my wife soon, but I wish the change wasn’t happening on the stupid anniversary. A month earlier or later would have been a bit easier (later, I’m guessing, would have been easiest b/c things always get easier once the anniversary passes… and I might have had TM’s support through that day). July 7th has not been easy at all since being down here. At least up north, some years I wouldn’t even know it was coming up. Down here though, the distress over it hits hard more than a month before, and it just keeps getting worse as the day nears. For the past 2 years, it’s also been the time I have to say goodbye to my therapist, so there’s no reliable support around getting through it. 😦

I’m so tired of all this. It needs to get better again up north. I don’t have the energy to keep going through this all the time.

Sorry. I don’t know how not to be so needy right now.


rollercoaster

moves can be such an upheaval, even if they are wanted and happy…

I go through bouts of panic, or intense sadness, or both.

I want to hide and cry, but I am trying to pack…

I want to break things (but I don’t really, just feeling very broken inside)… so I purge things and pack the rest.

progress is happening. slow, but happening.

“in tomorrow’s light, things will look a lot less frightening” – Lily Kershaw, Maybe


don’t know how to allow myself to feel

I was talking to L today for our usual daily chat (coz what else are you going to do when you’ve been 1500 miles apart for the past year and some weeks?), and I managed to get out (without my voice catching, and without having to go silent) that I was trying to come to terms with having to find one of the cats a new home… The words came, then the emotion hit, and that was all I could say about it without tears welling up in my eyes… even just writing it here they are threatening to burst forth, but I’m frantically blinking them away.

We also mentioned that Monday will be my last session with TM. More tears sprung to my eyes, but behaved themselves…

I don’t know how to allow myself to feel this. It’s too heavy and too scary. I still can’t think of leaving mom here by herself without the tears escaping from the confines of my eyes… So I stop the thoughts or the conversations. I switch the topic quickly and efficiently. And I still don’t release any of it. It’s safer to feel bad about losing TM because the level of emotional investment in her is not as great as it is with everything and everyone else. I care about her, she’s safe, I will miss her a lot, but it’s nowhere near the level of overwhelming hurt that comes with everything else.

It all feels like K & T dying again. It’s that huge. It hurts that much (only maybe more, because it’s them being gone, and worry over mom and the dog and cats and house and future and everything…). The safety net that was supposed to always be there is again going away. I feel like that poor bee I tried to rescue from drowning in the ocean several weeks ago. It was so windy & choppy, every time I fished him out, the wind caught him and threw him back into the water. Eventually the waves carried him away and I am assuming he perished… I feel like that little bee after I had fished him out a second time, and before the wind whipped him away again. There’s a sense of relief in knowing I’m getting out of the waves, but I also know it’s pretty windy. I’m holding my breath for the last time I get knocked in and the waves finally take me away from all hope of getting out of the water. I’m afraid it’s going to happen like that. I’m afraid something will finally knock me so far that all the means of finding safety are too far to get to.

I don’t know how to be ok feeling this emotion. Maybe if I felt support around it; maybe if there was a cushion of safety in attempting to deal with the emotion, I might be ok trying it in bits… but there’s no cushion. I will have 2 weeks after my last session with TM to keep it together and keep moving. There won’t be that neutral party to bring me back to a level-head. So I have to maintain it for myself. The only way I know how to do it and still function is to stuff it all away.

So I stuff. I fight the tears and the sadness and the fear. I fight the panic… I’m not sure how well I will manage that on the last drive out of the driveway, but at least I won’t be the one behind the wheel.

This sucks.


Fake it till you (don’t) make it

I’ve been a good little girl. I’ve been trying to keep myself distracted and balanced and breathing and everything else positive that should be helping. I’ve even done some cleaning and organizing in prep for the move… only I still feel like I’m breaking apart.

The second the distractions slow down, I’m overwhelmingly tearful and hopeless. I’m so tired of this…


Dear TM (things I doubt I can tell you)

Dear TM,

I want to spend the day in bed again and just cry my eyes out. I know I need to ride the depression out because there is nothing that will fix it, but it’s so difficult.

I haven’t cried again yet, though I have wanted to every day for the past week. I keep thinking if I can let go and cry in front of you, maybe it will feel more useful than simply sobbing into my pillow, but… I can’t let anyone see me cry. I can barely cry when I’m by myself.

I’m still afraid Tuesday will be a conversation around how I’m in need of more services than you can provide, how you need to refer me out. And I will want to get up and walk away and never return or even finish the conversation, but I won’t be able to move because tears will finally spill out of my eyes (though I won’t admit to crying) and I can’t walk out through the building looking like that (and I doubt my legs would carry me very far at that point. I’ll want to crumple up and melt into the floor. It hurts so much because my safe places and people always disappear. I will want to disappear myself, but won’t want to leave your office because I’ll want to get as much you time in as possible before I never see you again).

I’m so so so scared I won’t be able to keep seeing you the next few weeks before the move. I’m scared that I’m falling apart too much to continue seeing you, and your supervisor and you will determine I need to move on… I really don’t want to lose you right now because I actually trust you enough to feel safe with you. Please, please, please don’t kick me out before I leave. It’s just 5 weeks max… (again, a huge change that lands right before that huge anniversary). I know I’m going “back”, but my supports will not be available (L will be busy working and I don’t even think I have the others anymore) so it will feel lonelier than here. Why is it that everyone leaves around July? K, De, N, D, you, the house, everything and everyone…

So much for leaving the panic around possible termination for after Tuesday…

Pieces,

sj


Art Journal – Never Measure Up

Playing around a bit tonight with spray inks and newer washi tape (hadn’t used the tape measure one yet).

I really like the subtle effect you get when water is applied through a stencil over dried spray ink. It gives the pattern of the stencil without overpowering the piece.

image

I kinda stalled for a moment at this point. I wasn’t exactly sure where to go next for this one, so I dug through my washi tapes. The tape measure one jumped out at me, as did the caution. I applied those two and scrawled out something about never measuring up around the tapes. I liked the red pen, but didn’t think it would show over the background too well… and I didn’t know what else to write.

Then the song Hurt (by NIN, but covered by Johnny Cash – one of the few times I like both the original and the cover) came on my playlist. I know I’ve used some of the lyrics in another piece, but I wrote out all of it for this one… In white, so it again doesn’t overpower the piece but also doesn’t get totally lost (this gel pen absorbs some of the background pigment so it blends relatively well, mimicking the changes in background color and intensity while still remaining lighter than the background).

I also wanted to practice figure drawing a bit more, so I did a quick sketch inspired by a magazine ad for that famous little blue pill… I took some artistic license with the sketch and omitted the fact that she was mostly naked and quite airbrushed… she’s also crying in my version.

image

Still need to practice my faces and hands and overall figures, but this is okay for what it is.

Who knew I’d find a use for those “mistake” flower stamps from last night? I thought I would just end up covering over them completely. I like how they work with this piece though. I’m glad I picked this page to play on tonight.


o_O

This move is so anxiety-inducing… and then the decision around whether or not the anxiety and depression warrant a check-in call to TM today is anxiety-inducing. I think I will ask that it’s either scheduled, or that there isn’t a call expected, but that it be decided before I leave session either way. I’m leaning towards “I’ll call and leave you a message if I need to” but not set a day and time for a check-in call that may or may not happen. Having to make that decision (even though she said either choice would be ok) is worse than having to make a decision to simply leave her a message. I keep landing on the side of “this isn’t important enough to warrant a check-in”. It feels like a check-in would only be ok if it was something hugely impossible to get through (kinda like last week). This week is difficult, but not as bad as last week…

The depression is still really bad, but it’s manageable at the moment. Going out for a bit yesterday helped (so did that nap). The flashbacks are once again just “background noise” in my body. Though I would love to get them to stop completely, as well as this newer pain that comes with them, I don’t think it’s enough to bug her today… I can still change my mind for the next 2.5 hours, but at this point, I’m settling on “not gonna be annoying and needy”.

On another note, I don’t know why I thought that the happy memories timeline would be emotionally easier than the aversive memories one. There’s no real emotion attached to the happy memories, but they trigger more aversive memories that are connected to them in one way or another. Those negative memories definitely come with some serious emotions. :/

I keep telling myself I need to handle all this differently. I need to not be so triggered by it. I need to be able to deal with it without contacting TM. And then I cycle around to wondering what use trying to deal with all this is with only a few sessions left. I want to hide and put up walls and push TM away (or, push myself away). I don’t want to feel a need to talk to her about anything. I don’t want to find myself looking to her for support. I don’t want to feel like she is a safe person. I don’t want to trust her. I want to be able to walk away without looking back. I’m trying to prepare for this loss that will be huge when it shouldn’t be… Attachment and trust and safety are sticky and messy things for me. I’m not sure how to navigate them as easily as I should. It plants a lump squarely in my throat, and a huge weight into my chest.

The other day I had a lightbulb moment around why I cling so desperately to anyone I care about right before an immanent ending. I’m not really sure why didn’t realize this sooner. I was journaling when it suddenly jumped out of the screen at me: I pulled away from my aunt before she died. I didn’t spend much time with her in that last year she was sick. It was hard. She was cranky and mean from the chemo. I didn’t want to be around that, so I stopped going to see her. I stopped spending time with her. She was one of my favorite people, and I abandoned her because I couldn’t handle her being sick. Then one day, my parents tell me I should go see her because “she doesn’t have much time left”… I think I might have seen her 2 or 3 more times before she lost consciousness in her final week. Then the hospice nurse told us she was likely going to pass that night. Her body was giving up, it was out of fight. She was out of fight. So we spent several hours with her. We would talk to her, and hold her hand. And then it got late, so my mom, brother, and I left. She died later that night…

I felt cheated. And I was angry at myself for not having been there for her. I was mad that I had let my fear and anxiety win to push me away from “my other mother”… I think because of that regret, my reflex is to cling desperately to any relationship right before it’s over. Be it romantic or therapeutic, if I know it’s ending, I become annoying and needy and ever-present… I’m trying not to do that with TM. The only alternate though seems to be building huge walls and lots of distance. It’s another thing I can’t find a middle-ground with. I don’t know how to take an impending loss and not feel giant emotions around it. It was easy to recognize in the termination timing with De, but it’s been harder to put together when it wasn’t so obviously entangled. With De, termination came 6 days before the anniversary of K’s death. I would trip up and use K’s name with her. It was painfully obvious much of the gravity of emotion came from the first loss (and from the coinciding anniversary of my first suicide attempt, thought that came 13 years after K’s death)… Other losses have felt as huge, but never were that easy to put together. I’m not sure what prompted me connecting the dots with the impending loss of TM, but it finally clicked. I am well aware that most of the emotions going on right now are transference. Yes, I will miss TM. It was a good fit for the most part. I know though, that most of my issues with loss go further back… I know losing people I trust and feel safe with just picks at an old wound that never truly healed. 😦


Pride

I woke this morning wanting to cry and stay in bed. A few days ago however, I had told myself I was going to go to pride today. I didn’t really feel like driving into the city (it gives me anxiety), but the train/tram/bus/walk route would have been 3 hours (2 hours longer than driving), and a whole lot more frustrating. So, after double-checking that none of my friends would be available to drive, I took myself. Traffic sucked, but it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. My anxiety about driving in city traffic was not activated. I parked at a garage we had parked at last year, and I walked the 20 minutes to the beach. I ended meeting up with some friends for a while, them struck out on my own again after they left.
I’m glad I went. It was fun people watching, and I found out my anxiety is not nearly as bad when I feel in control and I know what I’m doing.
I’m not sure when the anxiety started, but it’s gotten frustrating the last few years. I used to make the drive to that part of the city quite often during high school. In college, I lost my fear of having to drive in unfamiliar places. Then it came back recently. I used to have no problem striking out on my own to go places; driving 10 hours to visit a friend in another state for the weekend; heading to the islands on my own for a spontaneous weekend away… now I get anxious going to the store down the street… I miss my independence. Today was a good reminder that I used to love doing stuff like this.
Anyway, pride was fun. Going by myself and not having to worry about what others wanted to do was nice. And leaving when I wanted was liberating. I would have preferred L with me, but I didn’t mind not having to go with friends…

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And on the way home, I saw my dream car: (googly eyes for the Kermit jeep)

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it was nice while it lasted…

yeah. just that. the easy day was nice while it lasted.

today I want to cry and throw things and break things and break myself. when does this end?


a love/hate relationship with therapy

(sorry this is not a very cohesive post. I’m rambling a lot…)

I hate the therapeutic relationship… I love the benefits of therapy, but the nature of the relationship makes it hell and like a bad break-up when it’s over. I mean, when else do we risk/tolerate getting incredibly emotionally intimate with someone who doesn’t open up in the same way? All the while knowing full well that they never will, and that the relationship will end with a near-complete severance? While many people are able to find one good therapist and work through their issues with that one person and feel natural with the break in the relationship, many people will bounce from clinician to clinician. Trust will need to be built with each new person, and will likely break before things are resolved in the person’s life. For me, it comes as a bi-product of having limited finances which necessitates seeing students or seeking community resources. This pretty much guarantees me a break in the relationship within several weeks at worst, and several months at best. Having been on both sides of the therapeutic relationship, I am acutely aware that a change in the relationship after termination is unlikely to go well. It’s not to say that becoming friends is impossible after (I am still friends with my h.s. guidance counselor), but chances are it will not work out nicely (it took us quite a while to settle into our routine, and even now it’s more of a mentor/mentee relationship than a truly reciprocal friendship). In therapy, we (as clients) are somewhat lulled into the one-sidedness of the whole thing. We “take” and “take” without ever having to “give”. We have a relatively neutral picture of the clinician, and we are expecting a lack of moral judgement around anything we bring up in therapy. We expect (and pay for) an ally who will at least “have our backs”, if not be totally in agreement with us. We pay them to have our best interests in mind when interacting with and reacting to us. We pay for “professionalism” in situations they may otherwise be wholly opposed to when outside of the office environment…

“Unconditional positive regard” is something we will likely only ever find in therapy. It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s warm & fuzzy. It’s nurturing… and it’s contrived. Not to say it’s not genuine, because in that environment it is. When training and working with clients, I was acutely aware of the factors motivating behavior, even if it would be considered “deviant” or “immoral”. I would not judge my clients, but try to help them resolve the turmoil in their lives. Every demon has it’s reasons… This has somewhat spilled over into my personal life, but I still have a very visceral response to things in my personal life where I would genuinely not react in the same way in a professional role… It’s not hypocrisy as much as it is a different mind-set. When working with a client, I try to look at their past experiences and how those have shaped everything they do or experience in the moment. I can work with a sexual offender without judgement. I can work with a domestic violence offender without judgement. I can hold their truths without harshness or anger. In my personal life, I can look at the past, understand it and how it shapes the person, and still hold anger and judgement around their behaviors (though, I generally dislike the concept of judging anyone except myself and a very few select people. Judgement about actions and behaviors comes easier). In my personal life, my own emotions and thoughts on things get in the way. I react out of anger or hurt or sadness or judgement when I would not do so in my professional life… I mean, where outside of therapy can you be guaranteed (I use that word loosely as there are some very judgemental and/or unprofessional therapists out there) a genuine acceptance of all the “crud”?

But I digress. I hate the emotional experience of therapy. It’s like asking you to strip naked (while the other remains totally clothed), jump around in thorn bushes for a while, then leave (often times, still naked and now sore and raw). It’s totally shitty for someone who feels emotions so strongly on top of everything. I admire (and am envious of) those people who can walk into therapy and walk out relatively unscathed. It takes me ages to trust anyone, let alone feel any attachment. It’s risky and scary and I dislike doing it. I prefer to keep everyone at arm’s length because it lessens the inevitable roller-coaster. Once I get attached though, I cling for dear life. You could run me over, smiling and laughing maniacally as you do it, and I would come back giving you chance after chance to apologize or change the behavior. It’s not so much a sense of masochism as it is a disbelief that I could have misjudged someone so badly that I finally grew to trust them… I know this is counter-productive to healthy relationships, but it enables me to return to therapy despite the emotional toll it takes. I focus on the positives (one of the few times I am able to tenaciously hold onto something positive despite all the negatives; it’s usually quite the opposite to when I focus on the negative despite mountains of positives). I convince myself that all the struggle and pain is worth it. Yes, my emotional experiencing seems very much out-of-proportion to the relationship, however if I go with the theory that I generally experience emotions either out-of-proportion to the situation or not at all, then it makes sense. Considering the amount of effort it takes to open up and trust a therapist, it makes sense that there would be a tidal wave of emotion surrounding the relationship… So yeah, I hate it. Yet I continue to subject myself to it time and again…

:sigh:

Tears have snuck out of my eyes more times than I’d like to admit today… It sucks. Also because I hate crying. I mean really, truly, emphatically HATE it. It’s messy and uncomfortable and slimy… I get the benefits, but I still hate it. And I hate admitting to crying…

:sigh:

I’m told it gets better. The professional me is trying desperately to convince me of this. I’m told there’s hope… The emotional me is saying a big “fuck you” to the professional side right now. The teenager is throwing a hissy fit in her own sulking and brooding way. She’s reminding the rest of me about all the times it’s gotten worse. She’s throwing out all the negatives and the hopelessness because that’s what she does the best. I can’t have lied to TL though, so she’s just going to have to deal… One day the teenager will admit some of the tears are her’s also…

Oh, and just so I can keep track of it somewhere: distraction need is set to super-high today. I was playing on the computer, listening to music, watching tv, and messing around on the phone all at the same time earlier. At the moment, I’ve got music pumping into my ear, typing here, on a forum, and playing on the phone… need to find some way to ride this wave of emotions without a self-destruct creeping in.


:gulp: I did it…

All my defenses were up and I had my opening lines rehearsed going into session today.

Before we even sat down, I told TL that all my defenses were up and asked if we could please not poke any holes in them today. After some clarification and checking, she agreed. We talked a bit about my trip up north and how I had been doing recently. We talked some about future plans and the possibility of me volunteering. I totally forgot to ask her for the number that she had mentioned the session before… Then I think she noticed me keep glancing at the clock. She asked what the papers were that I had stashed under my leg, and suddenly they felt stupid. I told her so, then looked at the clock one more time and blurted out that I needed today to be our last session. She looked sad; a bit like she might cry. I really hoped she wouldn’t because I would not have been able to keep it together at that point. She recovered quickly and asked why I thought it would be good to end. I was able to tell her it was mostly the transference stuff, and how it brough up really negative feelings between sessions. I also mentioned that the bi-weekly thing wasn’t working for me (which she acknowledged and said that she had planned to address it today had I not asked for it to be the last session. She agreed that my walls went up enough between weekly sessions, and that every other week seemed to really wear on me). I tried to explain the transference piece to her (what part felt bad, and how I didn’t think it was fair to her because she was nice and I wanted to not feel scared of her), but I didn’t really explain it well. We joked a bit about it and the ending. Then we talked about what would be helpful in my next therapist, and what I thought had worked; what positives I was taking from therapy with her. Ok, we tried to talk about it, but I went blank (this wasn’t something I had rehearsed talking about so the anxiety took over). I tried to explain how the dissociation had been different, and how I wasn’t sure exactly why it was, but there was something about working with her that allowed me to be more aware of the present even when I checked out on her. It often felt like I was still there sitting next to another part of myself that was doing the emotional experiencing, but I was able to translate some of it to her and be honest in the moment even when I was dissociating. It was difficult to explain even with my clinical knowledge, and she agreed that there wasn’t much vocabulary out there for what I was trying to convey. I think she ended up understanding what I meant though… She asked her routine questions checking in around the safety piece. Then time was up.

Before session (we had taken the elevator up together, which was a first), I had mentioned having something for her in my car that I wanted to give her, but that I left it in my car because the varnish fumes were very strong. After session, she walked down with me and I gave her the painting. She seemed really touched (mentioned that I was going to make her cry and she wasn’t supposed to cry… later I thought that I could have used one of her lines on her; that crying would be “modeling healthy expression” since I had earlier mentioned that I was ashamed to cry in front of others, but I didn’t think of that in time), and I got all flustered. I managed to thank her for working with me, and I kinda explained some of the painting to her. I told her I was bad at goodbyes, but that they were really important to me. She offered up that I could contact her again (via telephone tag at the agency) if the referral didn’t work out, or if I needed to touch base before the referral went through. Then she gave me a hug. I kinda freaked out a bit at that. I was afraid I’d contaminate her and cringed involuntarily when she hugged me. I think she kinda misinterpreted that though, because it ended up being a super short half-hug thing… Then we got in our cars and went our separate ways. Well, she pulled out and I sat in the parking lot for a moment…

I really hate goodbyes, and I really kinda wish she had asked if I was sure I wanted to end after today (though I also kinda set it up for her not to ask when I asked that she not poke holes in my defenses and not push me on stuff today. Maybe I should have been clearer about being ok talking more in-depth about why I wanted out)… I’m a bit intimidated with the prospect of having no additional support for the next month or so. I was a wreck with the bi-weekly thing, what really makes me think a month will be any easier (especially a month of uncertainty combined with the holidays)? But I really needed to wrap things up. I really needed to halt some of the intense neediness and the uncomfortable transference-related stuff… Honestly, I really wish I could have just followed her to the other agency, but it would be pointless since she is planning on leaving there too (and I’d have to figure out how to pay out-of-pocket at ten times my current session rate). :(…

I took a detour to the beach on the way home (seems to be an after-termination-session tradition lately)… I walked about a mile, and did a bunch of sitting watching the birds and the water. I even waded in the water (though not until after a few false-starts with getting my feet wet. Water in December is cold – not for the tourists, but for us “natives” it is… some kids playing in the water laughed as I jumped backwards when my toes first hit the waves). Also, do not tempt mother nature (I should know this by now from L’s adventures with her). I was sitting at the edge of the dry sand watching the waves come up to my feet. No sooner had I completed my thought about moving higher up before the next wave hits my butt than the water washed up around me… Now, not only was my bottom chilly, but I looked like I peed myself :/ Oops… Don’t tempt mother nature because she finds shit like this hilarious 😉

 

 


Just breathe

I had tried to leave a message for TL, but I don’t think she received it. She’s normally pretty good about at least calling back even if she doesn’t have time. I really was hoping to have a session this week, and having it be the last one. It’s a crazy rollercoaster with what this arrangement triggers in me. I want it over with.

I was also hoping to figure out what happens next for me at the agency. Something tells me that they want me elsewhere. I’m not quite sure where I’m reading that, but I think it’s a combination of briefly speaking with the clinical director, some of TL’s word choices, their 12 week “reassessment” policy, and TL’s responses to my questions around it (she seemed evasive)… there’s a chance I’m reading into all of it, but there are times my “gut suspicions” are accurate…

I’m emotionally wiped. I’m really excited about this weekend, but I’m also apprehensive. We have so much planned, but I fear we will just both be depressed lumps. I’m still on the verge of tears every other minute… as L said though, at least we’d be depressed together instead of 1500 miles apart.

I think mother nature is trying to get me ready for the drop in temp up north. We are having January weather here in early December. I boxed up the more mobile tropical plants and took them into the garage. It’s already in the low 40’s out there, and it’s supposed to get close to freezing overnight. I have to catch the two outdoor cats and bring them inside. They are used to 50’s, not freezing…

Anyway. I guess I won’t see TL before my trip. That means more time sitting with this triggered anxiety. Whatever. Maybe it’s time I learn to deal with it without therapeutic supports. I used to cope without additional support. Time I learned again.


Again?

Woke up crying again today, but it’s not as debilitating as it was Saturday. There’s just this underlying current of sad permeating everything, but I’m more able to function. There’s stuff I know I need to do today, and want to do it, but when it comes down to actually heading out, I lose the motivation (eg: I need to purchase a new bra. I want it, but the thought of going to the mall to check pricing and confirm size is daunting. If I could simply walk into that one store, it might be easier, but the thought of having to navigate the mall (even if it were not crowded) is frustrating. It involves too much process, too many steps (both in terms of walking and in terms of what has to be done) to achieve my goal… it’s overwhelming. I’m trying to think of it as simply going to Frederick’s and looking at prices in the store (looked online, and the bra is on sale online, but would have to order two to get free shipping. Shipping for one is nearly as expensive as getting two bras, which is just too costly right now. The store doesn’t always have the same sales as online…). My problem comes when I break down the steps involved in getting to the store. First, I have to get presentable. Then I have to get in my car and drive to the mall. I have to try to remember where in the mall the store is so I can park close. Then I have to get into the mall and find my way to the store. Then I have to chat with the sales lady. Then I have to politely decline her sales pitch if its more expensive in the store. Then I have to make my way back to the car and back home. I already became exhausted at the concept of getting presentable, forget the rest…

I hate having to be “on.” I hate having to hold this mask of “I’m fine. Everything’s peachy.” It’s so exhausting… TL and I talked about it last week in terms of the upcoming trip (pretty much social interaction for 56 hours straight. Exhausting to any introvert even without the added depression). She asked what it would be like to drop the mask, to not be “on” for the whole trip. The problem with that is the expectation from others to keep pretending no matter what… no one wants to see the reality. No one wants to have to be faced with the discomfort that comes from knowing everything is not “just peachy”… so I have to pretend. :heavy sigh: it would be so much easier to just hide. 😦

I asked mom to go with to the mall. Hopefully having company and someone else driving will make it easier… and I’m hoping the bra is on sale there too. Don’t want to expend the effort for nought…

Some days I wish there was a pill that actually worked to make this all better. I wish the struggle wasn’t so much of a struggle…


crying

woke up crying today. it’s lasted all day. crying at the slightest thing.

the depression is harming others now too. killed one of my snakes without meaning to. didn’t check on her enough. missed signs that something was wrong. found her dead today. she’s always been a difficult feeder (refused food for the first 9 months I had her. she’d also regularly miss 3 or 4 feedings in a row) so I didn’t really think too much of it that she refused food the last 2 times… should have realized something was wrong this time. hadn’t been weighing her, so didn’t notice she was losing weight… so I put out feelers to two people about possibly taking on most of the snakes and the rest of the lizards. they deserve better. and I hope that having only 4 will be easier than the (now) 9… 😦

if i still feel like this tomorrow, i will call TL and ask for another session this week (and hope I can hold it together for my trip coming up)…

supposed to get creative with the journal class teacher tomorrow. hoping I can at least fake it to get to her house and get some art time in. can fall apart again when I get home, but need to keep faking it for that. TL wants me to keep making plans and sticking to them. already let one friend down this weekend…

not sure why the depression hits so hard in the fall/winter lately. hate it. though maybe it always has and I just can’t remember… my memory is not the most reliable thing…


That sucked

Therapy today sucked. I barely held it together these past two weeks, and… well. It sucked. I didn’t know how to really communicate. As soon as I started to let a bit of my guard down, all the walls started to crumble… I thought I communicated how bad things were, but I guess not. She asked what changed between the time I was able to walk in to talk to her and the time I sat down. I didn’t know how to tell her it felt safe enough to crumble, and that’s why it started to happen…
We are still just doing every other week. I tried to tell her I wasn’t ok with that, and that I doubted I would call to schedule an appointment next week, but again, I guess I wasn’t effective…
I did ask her right at the beginning if she was mad at me from the previous week (because I had called asking to take her up on the appointment). She reminded me that she had told me to call if I needed to, and she apologized for not realizing they were closed Friday as part of the holiday. She tried to get me to reason out why I would think she was mad, and that if she had been, would it have been more her issue or something I had done (I think she had mentioned not being mad, but actually glad I was able to ask for something I needed). She again reminded me that she had asked me to call if I needed it… I know most of that was from emotional flashbacks, but I wasn’t in a space to be able to reason out of it. We agreed that most of what I was feeling was past stuff.
I got stuck on communicating several times. She changed gears and we did some “permission slips” for a while (similar to the coupons I made several weeks ago).  I know I got stuck on that part. She wanted me to write stuff, but I ended up only being able to draw. Then I got stuck on the drawing, and she managed to get me to write some words. In the end, I crumpled up the paper. I had meant to take it with me but forgot it on the little table. I’m wondering if she grabbed it and read the words. I crumpled it because I didn’t want to show her at the time, though it would have probably been good for her to see it…
At the very end of session, I was able to half ask her to clarify why we were tapering. I don’t totally remember what she said, but I got the impression that it was something about phasing me out of therapy there… I could have misunderstood her though, because my head was a swamped mess.
I wasn’t exactly in a head space to leave, but she needed to go. I ended up sitting in the car listening to music and crying for a while (more accurately, trying not to cry. I had to help a friend pack at the time and I didn’t want to show up to his house with puffy raccoon eyes).

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I also had the art journal class tonight. Glad I went despite feeling shitty. It was a good class. It helped me distract once I could drag my head in behind me… the rest of the class did the stylized heart (and actually I started out doing that, but changed my mind and did a more anatomical one before I glued it in). I really like how their’s came out, but this felt more right tonight. :shrugs: it worked out for what I needed. I did keep some of the depression out of the piece though. I was going to put “dreams lie” or “dreams fail”, but left out the second word. I figured they didn’t need to know all that about me tonight. I wouldn’t want to explain it while I was still feeling raw (we all wander looking at everyone else’s work before we take off. Nothing formal, but just curiosity… didn’t want to have to explain that). It might get added now that I’m home. Also, I want to add some Ellie Goulding lyrics as soon as I look them up…


Depression colors everything

I woke this morning wanting to cry my eyes out. Depression sucks. It’s a gorgeous day. There was a quick shower, and a pretty rainbow, and I want to cry harder.
L reminded me there are only 12 days till my visit, and I was overwhelmed with a heaviness. How is it that such a happy experience should make me so sad? because I know the sadness at leaving will be heavy and wet and incredibly intense. I know, I shouldn’t focus on the ending before it even begins. That’s the fun part of depression though; it doesn’t give a shit…
An acquaintance made the move to initiate friendship, and that made me want to cry also. People shouldn’t be nice to me. They shouldn’t put forth the effort, they’ll just be infected by this black sludge that invisibly oozes from every pore. I admit, I do my best to hide it if you see me out and about, but it’s there. It’s sticky and heavy and traps everything in its path…
I wanted to cry when I read an account of someone’s snakes living well into their 50’s. I wanted to cry because I was both happy that mine may be with me for a much longer time, and sad that the hurt would be huge when they do finally pass… I know, you are thinking “but they’re snakes!? They’re icky and slithery and snakes!?” But they have their personalities and they are not icky at all… and I will miss them when they move out of my life, like I miss every pet I have ever shared my life with…
So yeah, depression is loud and very present this morning despite my best efforts to smile and decide to be happy. It’s coloring everything with those dark storm clouds… I can see the rainbow, but it’s very faint and fading fast, leaving only the gray clouds.

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Art journal prompt: mess up a page when you like how it’s going

I was turned on to a set of journal prompts by the teacher of the workshops. I read through them (there are 10 in this set, only about 4 are actual prompts, the rest describe her process, so a good starting point for journal)…
Anyway, this particular prompt was to start a page, then when you were liking how it was going, mess it up. Paint over it, smear it, do something totally different than what you started liking… it didn’t mayer if you hated it or loved it in the end, but it’s supposed to get you in touch with the discomfort of changing something you are happy with.

I had kinda liked where the original page was going (distress stains and embossing), but I figured I’d take the risk and “mess it up”. I have to say I like the end result way better than the direction it started in. I’m finding as much as I like the concept of the the words in the pack I purchased, they just don’t have the words I’m really looking for. I guess that could go along with the “limit yourself” prompt from the set of 10 I mentioned, but… I’m finding I’m simply using them for implying words more than the actual ones on them. Anyway, I’m distracted.

It was a fun prompt. “The places you will go when the years start to flow”.
Guess I wish I could cry and get the release from the tears. Hoping the healing kicks in again whenever that happens…

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just want to cry

Flashbacks are returning hard. Got really triggered in therapy last time and I can’t seem to pull out of it. I want to bawl my eyes out, but there’s no place to do that; no safe person to do it with… the flashbacks bring more complete memories, and they are unrelenting. I’ve been rehearsing my mantra that is supposed to remind me I’m in the here and now, not the past. The words are starting to blend together and not make sense because I’ve said them so often recently.
Every little thing makes me jump again. I thought that it had finally calmed down a few weeks ago, but it’s back. None of my usual coping skills are helping. I hate this so much. I just want to be able to get through the days without feeling so terrified and alone…

I keep going back to wanting to run from therapy because it’s so triggering. Maybe if there were more resources during the down-time, or I had more in-person support around what we talk about, I wouldn’t feel so lost. But there’s nothing else. Nothing that TL can offer or suggest. Nothing I can afford in terms of additional supports. And I just want to isolate from everyone and everything 😦

Is it Saturday yet? Does it really matter anyway when the hour flies by so fast leaving me feeling raw and triggered? My neediness is through the roof today, but it’s very specific: I don’t want to have to talk. I just want to sit and feel supported. I want that closeness without the pressure of being “on”… I want to be understood and have all this figuratively held for me so I am not so alone in it. I don’t know how to do that with what I have in the moment. I can’t talk about what was triggered with anyone close to me because I need to still process it first with someone objective (translate that to: safe & non-judgemental & relatively unaffected).

The a/c was fixed yesterday, so I moved my art supplies back out of the bedroom, but I don’t want to sit out there to do anything. I like my little cave at the moment, even though mom is shopping and the house is empty. Feeling very vulnerable, so the tighter space is welcomed. The comfort of the bed and the dogs and the music through the speakers helps… Fuck, really miss De right now. SJ is very much here and very much out and very much missing her comforts and safety…


Safe & Sound

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

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


updates

sorry I have not been around in a while.  things have been very overwhelming, and I have not had the energy to censor what I write enough to make it ok for the blog.

On Tuesday I said goodbye to De.  It was anti-climactic. I didn’t say all I had wanted to say to her in person, and when I left, it was the same as every other exit, only this time she didn’t say “see you in a few days” or “see you next week”.  She just said “goodbye”.  I really hate goodbyes.  I hate the finality of it, and how it feels like a part of me is ripping out when it’s someone I have grown to trust.  Of course, this goodbye has been infinitely more difficult than many other ones.  It’s been compounded by other losses, by impending changes, and looming anniversaries.  And it has become totally entangled in a 20-year-old loss that was apparently never sufficiently addressed.  It still has not been addressed, nor will it necessarily be looked at any time soon.  I had hoped not to have to find another therapist before the move, but I can’t be in this limbo state without support.  I had gotten an intake at the agency we saw J though.  That was 2 weeks ago.  I called the intake coordinator on Wed of last week for an update.  He had said that I was going to be assigned to someone that day, and they will call by the end of the following week.  I wish I could have asked if it could be sooner than that time, but I was having enough time forming an acknowledgement of what he said that I didn’t feel like pushing my luck with being able to talk without crying again.  I really need to connect with someone.  I need to have that place where it’s ok to not be together all the time… and I need to process this loss and some of the stuff that came up right before I ended with De.  I don’t necessarily want to process those memories with someone I will only be seeing for a few weeks, but they are nudging at me in my dreams.  When I do manage to sleep, I wake anxious and in a sweat.  I don’t remember my dreams, but I know they are frightening.  My heart is still racing and I gasp awake.  It’s really not a fun feeling.

In hopes of getting myself active this weekend, I had made some plans.  The only thing I followed through on was the art journaling workshop on Thursday evening.  It was really fun, and the place is amazing.  I wish we had found it before making the decision to leave the state.  Yesterday, I was supposed to hit up two separate BBQ’s for the 4th.  One was over at one of L’s former co-worker’s place, the other was supposed to be with a childhood friend.  I couldn’t stop crying yesterday though, so I opted out of both.  My friend called me on it, but gave me a pass for the day. I have a feeling L may have called her and asked her to bug me about going out, because she had no reason not to belive I wasn’t feeling well yesterday… L denies it, but I dunno… she has done it in the past. Anyway, I stayed home from both.  I tried to do something productive, but I couldn’t do anything.  I stayed in bed for the night. Luckily, we live in a neighborhood of firework-happy households, so I caught a good portion of one neighbor’s display from my bed.  I went outside to the back and just turned in circles watching all the other ones people were setting off. There was also the fireworks from 2 towns visible from the backyard, so I had a 360* fireworks spectacular.  I know a lot of people with PTSD find this to be a really difficult time because of the noise.  I guess I’m lucky that mine is not triggered by this.  Start yelling around me or suddenly walk into a room and I will jump out of my skin, but set off fireworks and I will watch in awe…

Today was much the same lazing around, spent bouncing around from one un-started project to another, and generally being lost.  I should have returned some of the stuff I purchased on Thursday and Friday, but I didn’t have the energy to go out.  I fixed a bracelet I had strung wrong the first 3 times, and that took a good 2 hours.  It pretty much wiped me out.  I feel like a slacker, but I just don’t have the mental energy to do much.  I’m hoping I will get myself out tomorrow to return that stuff, because I really should not have spent all our money.  I also kinda want to go to a beach, but it’s weird by myself.  I don’t like to just sit there, and it’s weird to just float out in the water by myself.  At the same time, there’s no one I want to go there with.  One of the MeetUp groups I am a part of will be heading out to a local clothing optional beach.  I think I would have tried that if I was not so triggered these last few weeks.  I would certainly wear clothes, but I don’t think I can handle seeing a bunch of man-parts everywhere around me (most of the people going are gay guys, as none of the lesbians in the group seem to be going).  I know most of them will be baring all… I really wish they would have picked a clothed beach for this party.

Anyway, so I’ve been overwhelmed and sad and a hot mess, and simply without energy to read or write.  I’m sorry.  I hope it lightens soon and I can pay more attention to everyone.  I really hope the new clinician calls in time to get me in next week for an appointment… I’m really feeling like I need to connect with someone on all this stuff. I don’t want to hit my breaking point again down here.

(and I really miss De disproportionately to the relationship we had.  I know it’s blown up, and I know why, but it’s not making the break easier.  L had said it was similar with J for her… I wish I had understood how it felt for her, because this really sucks, and I wasn’t a good wife around it all… :(…)