Tag Archives: depression

I don’t have words to effectively communicate what this is…

Been really out of sorts lately. Can’t totally pinpoint what the exact precipitating event was, but maybe it’s just everything from the last several weeks… There have been so many triggers and stressors (L’s mom has been really sick, and recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure; I didn’t get to visit my own mom much in the two weeks she was up because I cought a cold; stuff’s just been seeping back lately anyway; one of the ladies in the trauma group I attend is really struggling, and her struggle really hits home… It’s something I’ve been through over the years; I actually, out loud, explained to my mom why I think having a service dog would be beneficial; I’ve started to look more intensely for a suitable sd candidate…

The triggered feeling had me craving a way to express itself, or feel more pointedly whatever this feeling is, so I ended up watching Unbelievable on Netflix… Watched the whole 8 or 9 episodes last night, so I didn’t sleep well yet again (between being sick for 2 weeks with this cold, and bring concerned about L’s mom, and just scheduling, I don’t think I’ve had more than 2 hours sleep in a row for about 3 weeks now)… I really related to Marie’s character; not so much the rape and police reporting, but the experiences of the flashbacks, of saying whatever just to appease the one with the power, of trying to explain things, but getting confused and flustered, so shutting down instead of communicating, of having huge walls around myself, of being inadvertantly hurt by parental figured who mean well, but can’t see past their own shit… There’s so much of her character that hits home that I don’t even have words for…

I feel like I’m just shuffling in circles and bumping into myself today. This past week has triggered old stuff, but it’s still so far away. I feel it, but I don’t quite know what it is. It’s old, but… I dunno. It’s still walled off.

I really wish I could talk to Dr C about it… Monday feels so far away.

It’s kinda what Marie’s character felt, but it’s much older; I was much younger… Or maybe not? Maybe I was a teenager when I started putting those lessons together like that? They’re kid lessons tough; older than SJ-old lessons… How old was SJ again?

I kinda want to at least reach out to L about it, but I wouldn’t know where to start, or what to say… This is all stuff I stumble over about voicing. I don’t have words for it really. There’s not really a language for it… I kinda wish I could just pull all the clips of Marie’s character from that series, and take it in to Dr C. Maybe at least I could point to the parts that really hit home, maybe… I don’t know what…

I hate feeling so lost and floaty and trapped inside the feeling. Grounding doesn’t really help right now. As soon as I turn my attention from the act of grounding, I’m floating again.

I don’t even know what I’m floating in! It’s this fog soup of the past or something

L offered to go to Dr C with me one day so we could try to talk about this. She had mentioned just now while taking the dogs out, feeling like she wished she could help, but she didn’t know how. I admitted to her that I wished I could talk to her, only I don’t know how. I don’t know what to say, or how to explain this. I don’t know how to put words to whatever this really old thing is… I don’t think I’d know how with Dr C either… I dunno… I… I dunno. I wish I had words or expressions. I wish I could point to a feeling, or have her feel a bit of what this is just to be able to express it, but… That kind of communication doesn’t exist. Even if I had her watch Unbelievable, and I pointed to the moments I relate to, she wouldn’t know how it relates… That’s the trouble with feelings that have no words, or thoughts that only have feelings… If I can’t grasp on to it, if I can’t find a way to describe it or talk about it, then how the hell can I communicate it? I could art journal about it, but would she understand it the way I do? Even I don’t think I understand it the same way twice, so how the hell do you effectively communicate that?

I want to get lost in music and cuddle Beary… I wish I could cuddle the dogs, but they’re not huge fans of that… I miss having cuddly dogs… I really want a huge, cuddly dog to hide with right now… It feels safe… Floppy was safe like that when I was a kid. I really miss her…


Obsessions…

Does anyone else struggle with obsession?

Mine is rooted in “getting it right” so I don’t get in trouble, but… It often does more harm than good. Even things I enjoy become a chore because the obsession has me doing it well past burnout.

A friend tried to motivate me to to get into doing something from home as a means of income. She suggested that energy and success will come from putting effort into whatever it is I want to grow [as a business]. She is convinced that if I just change my mindset around not having energy or motivation, I’ll succeed at whatever it is I choose to do. I couldn’t explain to her that 1) I don’t have the energy to front to that right now 2) I might get energized in the moment doing some things (like my art, or going hiking, or to the beach to look for seaglass), but then I end up crashing & recovering for days afterwards, and 3) my obsession will inevitably kick in, forcing me to stay up late & wake up early to work on whatever it is I’m doing. I’ll do it to the exclusion of everything else because I need to get it right or I’ve failed miserably at everything including life. Despite seeing the intensity and flaws of that thinking, I’m not able to interrupt the obsession on my own yet…

Speaking of doing things obsessively, I love to go to the beach to look for seaglass and other interesting things. Once the idea is sparked, the only thing that stops me from going is being physically unable to go (no transportation, being in so much pain I can’t do anything at all…), or conflicting appointments that cannot be changed. The friend who got me into it text me last night about going today. I said yes… Only problem is, every fiber in my body hurts from exertion this past week. I should probably stay home and chill, but I can’t bring myself to say no. I must go, or something bad will happen. When I get there, I know I will methodically search the beach looking for what interests me. It takes me hours, and I end up in more pain. I know this will happen, but I still can’t bring myself to refuse. Just the thought of declining the invite brings on a whole host of anxiety and self-deprication; everything from my friend being mad at me for declining (she wouldn’t be, but my brain insists she will) to being mad at myself for not pushing through crap & for wimping out on an adventure that might get me out of my head for a while.

It’s so beyond just enjoying whatever it is I’m trying to do… I know I’m doing it to my detriment at times, but I still can’t refuse…

I have therapy before heading out seaglassing. Maybe this can be something we address (though I know there was something else I had really wanted to talk to her about, but I can’t remember what that was at the moment.


Disconnect (dissociation?)

Still feeling so disconnected from any part of the past… It almost feels like “living in the present” taken to an extreme level; nothing from the past holds connection right now.

The furthest I feel connected to is maybe this weekend, but even that’s sketchy.

I don’t know… Hope it resolves in short order.


Hard NO on gabapentin ever again. **Trigger warning – self-harm thoughts**

I really need to remember (and underscore) that psych meds and I really don’t play well together.

I’ve noticed, and been able to label, psychotic thoughts getting stronger with each dose… The biggest “aha” moment came tonight after my evening dose (#3 in total) when I scratched an itch on my scalp, and thought “I should just rip it off”, and I pictured myself ripping off a large chunk of my scalp to relieve the itch. That is not a normal thought!

I may be experiencing psychotic thoughts, but I’m aware enough to recognize them as such.

After figuring that out, I did a quick Google search; apparently, psychotic agitation is a “rare” paradoxical effect of gabapentin…

References on this phenomenon:

There’s more out there, but I’m having trouble concentrating… My tongue is very present at the moment, and it’s flashing up a thought to “just chew it off to stop it from feeling that way”… Seriously not fun right now…

I feel like I might cry and laugh maniacally at the same time… My emotions are all over the place, mostly hypomanic & psychotic. I know I need to turn over and try to sleep, I just need to stop being scared of the thoughts. They are just thought. I don’t need to act on them. They will pass. I just need to let myself sleep…


Some progress on the physical stuff (or, at least a direction to look in)

Saw the pcp on Tuesday.

L had the idea to make a comprehensive list of all the symptoms that have come up in the past year or so. It helped tremendously! We were able to give it to Dr. S, and she was able to get a better picture of things. She’s thinking that a lot of it can be related to a potential cervical vertebrae problem; we just have to figure out imaging. I have a chest piercing that had the radiology nurse really uncomfortable last time, enough that she said they would refuse to do further imaging from the waste up unless I had it removed… that would take a surgical procedure, and I’m just not interested in losing it forever if I can find another center that will do the imaging… so I’m waiting to hear back from her office about the next steps around that.

She’s also going to set up a referal for a second opinion on the neurology side of things, but I have to send her a copy of the neuropsych report so she can include it in the referral. I have that pulled together, just need to make it out to the post office to mail it.

I really hope something is figured out around this, and I hope there’s an easy, painless, non-invasive fix for it…

In the mean time, we are trying meloxicam for the pain… I took the first dose tonight, and I’m wired. The first 2 hours after I took it, I felt hyper, as if I’d taken an upper. I hope, if that’s one of the ways my body reacts to it, that it goes away soon. It actually helped the pain for those two hours, but it wore off quickly… it was the lowest dose though, so maybe a higher dose will help longer? I dunno, but it was nice to feel pain-free for those 2 hours or so.

So, we’re have some other things to look into. Hopefully one of them will yield answers.


worthlessness

More questions for y’all:

How do you overcome worthlessness? If you’ve always felt like you had miles extra to make you worth basic human considerations, how do you inch up that gargantuan ladder?

Intrinsic worthlessness has been a topic of conversation lately, in both therapy, and the rest of my life.

The biggest obstacle I’m hitting is my lack of ability to make any part of this service dog thing happen. Every time I get even a hint of savings towards a prospect, something comes along to wipe it out. At this rate, I’ll be dead before I have enough money for an appropriate pure-bred prospect… and I’m not sure I’ll have the energy to follow through on the level of training needed for a successful and bomb-proof service dog.

My inability to save makes me second guess if I’d really actually benefit from one enough to put in this much effort. I only have so much energy, and mine’s fast running out. The holidays have been a huge drain this year. I barely have enough energy to be politely social with people, forget trying to figure out how to make a service dog work.

So, yeah. How do you overcome intrinsic worthlessness? How do you trick yourself into being ok with having needs, or asking for something, or feeling ok with extra effort to make something work?


weird moment

A friend I don’t see often came over yesterday. We chatted and hung out. She was over for a few hours. We ate, caught up, then she left.

As L and I were picking up afterwards, I had the weirdest experience. It suddenly felt like I was rushing back from somewhere. The thought “oh! I missed her…” echoed in my head; not missing her like I wish we did it more often (though I do), but getting there too late to have had a chance to sit with her… I knew she had been there, but I wasn’t present for it, except that I had been there… it was like part of me that really wanted to see her didn’t get home in time.

Dissociation and compartmentalization is such a weird experience.


jumbled, confusing, pre-verbal stuff

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

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

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

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

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


Endings suck…

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

Like tv shows that let you escape yourself.

And fictional characters dying.

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

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

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

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

Scorpion, not so neatly wrapped…

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

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

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

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

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

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


More on feeling defective…

Despite all my labwork that insists I’m ridiculously normal, my brain certainly doesn’t feel it.

I went to physical therapy today because I tweaked my back a few weeks ago, and my range of motion since then has sucked. Specifically, I have trouble lifting my left leg over the dog gate. I go over with my right, and kinda just drag my left over after me…

Anyway, I remembered why it was I failed so miserably at pt last round; it sparks intrusive memories I’d rather not have.

I’m supposed to go back on Monday, but I think I will cancel.

Even if it doesn’t trigger full-on flashbacks, it does trigger anxiety and dissociation. The longer the pt goes on, the worse it all gets, and soon I can’t remember what we did, and what I’m supposed to do between sessions. It’s a waste of time and resources that I know could be used by others (they book 2 weeks out on a good week)…

So, yeah. I’m going to cancel. I’ll do the exercises she gave me today, then try to remember to start planking to help build my core strength up again.

And maybe I’ll mention it to Dr C, and we can work more on the body stuff so maybe if I ever need pt again for my back I’ll be able to follow through…


Learning my new limits

As much as this muscular stuff has been getting better, it’s still here. I’m able to do more and function better, but I’m still bumping into my new limits on a regular basis.

Yesterday, we cleaned the apartment (it desperately needed it). We both took it slow, but both did quite a bit. By yesterday evening, I was feeling the effects.

I found I get pressure headaches from changing position often (bending and crouching to clean under furniture, or to move things around). This morning, I noticed it’s helped a bit if I put slight pressure at the base of my neck, pushing upwards.

My muscles are also cramping again. They are sore and tense.

So what am I doing today? Being stubborn and getting laundry done.

I’m sure I’ll be a lump for the rest of the day. Heck, I’d love to be a lump right now, “but I have shit to do, and an appointment on [Thursday]…” (ani difranco).

I finally managed to get to the lab on Monday at the proper time for them to send out my bloodwork for the specialized test the neurologist ordered. I also got a chance to look at the name of the test so I could look up more info about it; MuSK. I can’t remember exactly what it is, but it’s looking for specific antibodies that interfere with something or other, that then causes muscles to tire faster. (Great explanation, I know. But I just skimmed the info while at the lab, and can’t remember details right now). Anyway… yeah. It’s looking for indications of a disease called myesthesis gravis? Maybe that’s what it’s called? I dunno. Again, memory on specifics is sketchy, and I’m being lazy about looking it up.

So yeah, waiting on those results. I’m not sure if I should hope it’s that, or hope it’s still all just related to the OSDD. It would be nice to have some definitive answers, and a course of treatment (though there’s apparently no cure)…

Back to the grind now. Laundry will need to be folded, and then I’m back home for a few before jetting off to pick L up from work…


family

I think that word has very different meanings for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It sucks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


To Dr. C

Dr C,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Long-term effects of growing up around violence

…Well, one long term effect. For me.

I worry about and see anger in everyone. I want to appease it, and apologize for it, even if it has nothing to do with me.

Perceived anger frightens me.

Someone was trying to get in the front door of our complex, but it’s locked. They walked back around. I’m assuming they grabbed a key, then tried again. They looked frustrated when it didn’t work.

I started to become scared. I wanted to both hide, and walk over to see if I could help in any way.

It had nothing to do with me, but I reacted as if I needed to fix it because they were mad at me specifically (I’m not even sure the woman knows anyone is home in my apartment)…

My heart is still racing. I’m still ambivalent. It happened 20 minutes ago.

I’m doing nothing wrong. The woman isn’t here for anything related to me, yet I’m scared she will come in and yell at me…

G would have done that. He was (and is) unpredictable and volatile.

This woman is not G.

I will keep repeating that to myself until my inner kid believes it (or stops the panic)


ramblings about interim therapists and trauma work and body stuff

I’ve been seeing another therapist in Dr C’s practice while she’s been away. It’s been weird, but helpful in maintaining balance, especially with all this physical stuff going on. I didn’t really talk to her about much outside of “safe” things (things going on in the moment, dealing with the physical stuff that doesn’t have a medical explanation yet (or ever?), surface stuff). There were times I wanted to cover other stuff that wove its way into the session, but I couldn’t open my mouth. It felt like my lips were glued together, and even if I did manage to open them, all that would come out were sobs and screams…

That’s not a new phenomenon for me. I’m not sure I’ve ever managed to open my mouth and tried to speak at a time like that. It taps into something I still don’t have an understanding of, and it never feels safe or comfortable enough to just let that part of me do whatever it needs to do for release… maybe I can bring it up with Dr C once she’s back again next week. I wish I could remember what it was that triggered that feeling.

I know before walking into the building, I had wanted to address the body memories that always get triggered (or more intense) when I get my period. We had kinda started taking about bodies, and how comfortable I was in mine (or not comfortable). We had talked a bit about liking or hating any particular part of my body. I said there wasn’t any part I liked. I should have said, there wasn’t any part I liked anymore because at one point, I had liked my eyes and my hands… but both have failed me since. My eyes either hide too much or tell too much; and my hands don’t create to my standards anymore (stupid trembling and fatigue). So no, right now there’s no part of me I like.

She also asked if there was any part I really hated. Of course there are parts I hate more than others, but there wasn’t enough time in the hour to tell her about it and still come out of the session balanced enough to go on with my day… I’m not totally sure I even want to write about it now, though there would be less explanation involved here than with her… I hate my pelvic area, and my stomach, and the insides of my legs. It’s where I feel the most uncomfortable memories, and what triggers the easiest. It’s the fastest way to send me to space…

A had asked if I’d ever done any body work (on paper) with Dr C. I told her I hadn’t, because even though Dr C had offered it, I panicked at the thought of tracing my body. A clarified that she meant doing it smaller scale. No, we never did do that… I’m not sure why the subject changed with A in that session. I think I started panicking and backpedaling into my head, because at some point, she asked how present I was & busted out a ball as a means of grounding (side note: it worked too! Who knew playing catch could actually bring me back? Normally, I can still do that stuff while dissociated. This time, the act of catching and tossing was balancing. Maybe it was the inconsistent way she did it? She would pause, look at the ball, change the speed of her toss… whatever it was, it worked).

Anyway… yeah. There were so many times I could have said more to her, but I didn’t want to get into it knowing that the hour would end too son, and I’d be left dealing with whatever came up for the rest of the week. At least with Dr C, I can reach out during the week if I need to. A did say to call if I needed anything, but I wouldn’t bother her. It takes me a long time to trust that it’s really ok to bug someone outside of the time they are getting paid to interact with me. Even with Dr C, I still hesitate much of the time, and I’ve worked with her on and off for almost 10 years now…

Oh, I remembered what I was originally going to say about the body drawing; it’s another thing where I feel frozen for fear of what I might do or say. There’s still that urge to destroy my body, even if it’s just a drawing. I still want to take a knife and stab the drawing on the parts I hate the most… or, since I no longer carry a knife with me, stab it with the pencil… that would probably freak her out, so… maybe some day I can mention that to Dr C, and we could find a way for me to be ok doing it in some form. The kid really wants to talk about it still. He has no words, just screams and sobs and anger… or silence. He’s usually just silent because the other stuff is not acceptable…

I really wish Dr C was back now. I wish this could be addressed while it’s still here & “relevant.” It’ll be gone again by next week. This is when that concept of easily accessible, more intensive treatment would be helpful; when stuff comes up and would benefit from being addressed in the moment, so it would be nice to be able to walk back into the room and get to work… let’s tackle this shit coz it’s here. Gimme that little body drawing, tack it to a tree, and let me stab the shit out of it. Let me rip it up and scream and cry and cover it in red paint so it bleeds like my body would if I did that to myself. Let me burn the page so it all goes up in smoke. He needs the release. I need the release…

Let me rip the legs off a toy, and bash it and destroy it… but then I’d need to apologize, because the toy did nothing, it’s just a receptacle for the anger. So let me run out into the woods and scream until my voice is hoarse, and my legs are so tired they want to fall off, and my breath burns in my chest (maybe my lungs would actually burn up. That would be an interesting medical & scientific impossibility)…

Sometimes the anger and the hurt is too much. Sometimes I want to disappear to a safe place where I can do something about it without weird looks and panic over my safety, because ultimately, I’ll be safe, this just all needs a release…

Why aren’t there trauma treatment centers in the middle of the woods, with animals and drop-in massage and art and yoga and holistic therapy like they have for substance abuse? And why is nothing local? Why is the only treatment center even remotely like that all the way across the country, and religious?! I want something with no BS about higher powers or gods or spiritual anything. Why does that not exist?! And why aren’t there more art or play therapists around? The kids want time too, but everything’s in an adult world, so they use translators instead…


Inconsistencies

It’s funny how my thoughts and opinions can be so different from one moment to the next.

I like raisin bran. I hate raisins. I know for sure I’m worthless. I fight for the things that matter to me because I matter. I’m seeking out adrenaline. I want nothing more than the safety of my corner of the couch…

It drives L nuts that she thinks she finally has me figured out, only to realize what she thought was accurate, is opposite to what I’m expressing in the moment.

They’re not all hugely drastic inconsistencies, but they are there… and they are enough to throw people off when they notice them.

Sometimes I wonder if my dissociation isn’t more than just spacing out. I know Dr C and I have had this conversation a few times, but right now I can’t remember what she said about it…

Part of me knows everything’s just an elaborate story because I’m just a bored teenager. I have a really active imagination. I can get lost in the books I read. I can picture what they talk about. I can feel the atmosphere, hear the sounds. It’s like watching a movie, but in my head… and the smells… they’re so real. Only I know I’m reading, so… I have a very vivid imagination.

When I was younger, I dreamt a huge white stallion visited me at night. He came back because of the horse shoe I found while playing in the backyard. He promised to keep me safe… it was such a realistic dream, but a dream none the less.

When we moved from Canada to Florida, I stopped talking as much. Before, in school, I would always get in trouble for chatting with my friends. Then we moved, and it all seemed pointless. What good were friends if you’d lose them anyway? And even if I did have friends, it’s not like I could talk about stuff. “You don’t talk about family business to outsiders”.

So I didn’t talk much. I listened. I became the good girl who didn’t talk much, and almost never got in trouble (there were two times, but i only really got in trouble the first time. I forged my dad’s signature on a note he was supposed to sign acknowledging that I missed a homework assignment. The teacher got really mad. She didn’t care that I begged her not to tell my dad; that my mom would sign the note, just don’t tell dad… she told him anyway. She thought I was being a brat about it, and wanted me to learn my lesson… joke was on her. Dad taught me how to properly forge his signature so next time I wouldn’t get in trouble. I cried that whole day, I was so scared. I didn’t talk the rest of the day in school… I learned my lesson, but I don’t think it was the one she meant me to learn. I thought he was going to kill mom he was so angry at her (because I embarrassed him & made him look like a bad parent). I can hear them fighting. I can hear her screaming to stop, to get off of her. But they weren’t fighting, they were just having “a discussion”…

It’s all a lie. I blow things out of proportion. That’s not what really happened. Nothing happened.

I used to read so many books that they refused to buy them for me anymore. I would get so lost, time meant nothing. Hunger meant nothing. Bodily sensations meant nothing.

I would devour a book a day, sometimes more than one.

He would tell stories to show how smart and learned he was. He spouted theories from physics and math and psychology and philosophy. He wanted to make sure we knew them, so we could make sure others knew we were better than them. No one was as smart as us, or as special, but he was specialest of us all, and smartest… only blood family mattered. The people who married in, or weren’t in his immediate family meant nothing; they were interlopers. They weren’t one of us… but no one was as worthy as he was. He deserved everything, and people should be honored that he paid them any attention at all, especially the interlopers… no one was as special and wonderful as he. Everyone outside the family was a stupid imbecile who didn’t know greatness if it punched them in the face. Everyone should do exactly as he said, because only he knew what was right and wrong, good and bad… and never talk about what goes on at home with anyone; can’t tarnish the family’s good name. Can’t bring him shame or embarrassment, or you get in trouble… mom got in a lot of trouble all the time. Anything that went wrong was her fault, and she could never do anything right. “How dare you give away my money?? MY money, that I slaved in a stupid foreign country alone for months for?? HOW DARE YOU?!”… “it was to your own kids”… “I DON’T CARE! IT’S MY MONEY. ALL OF IT!”…

I don’t want to remember the rest…


On using psych meds

… that Sarah Silverman tweet got me thinking…

There’s so much info and support out there for people taking meds, but nothing for people who react badly to meds.

I’m not sure I ever really talked in detail about my struggles with psych meds.

I tried them briefly in college, but came off of them after a short time (can’t remember why, or how long I was actually on them). Then, 4-6 years later, I was convinced to try them again. It was against my better judgement, but my therapist at the time was adamant that I needed them. I wanted to trust that she had a less biased view of things than I did, and that she was more knowledgeable about it all than I was. I battled her about it for several sessions before I caved and agreed to try them once again.

I had trouble finding a psychiatrist I felt comfortable working with. I must have cycled through 5 or 6 before I found one who I felt listened & cared (read: didn’t try to push the same meds I reported as having not worked when I tried them; wasn’t cold or condescending; sat with me for more than 3 minutes before handing me a prescription). Sadly, she moved out of state after about 3 months, and my search began again.

I really don’t remember much of the details at this moment, but I do know at one point I was taking roughly 15 different meds up to 4 times a day. It started with one med, then another med to combat side effects, and another to augment the first, then another to help with side effects from the one helping with the original side effects, and so on.

The meds didn’t work for me. I kept getting more depressed, more anxious, and more suicidal. I cycled in and out of hospitals. Each time, they added meds, or switched them out, or increased doses, or all of the above. None seemed to help.

They started blaming me for complaining about the side effects. I was called willful and resistant to treatment. I was told I was being manipulative; that I didn’t actually want to be helped; that I was enjoying the depression; that I was not trying hard enough to get better. I was told I would never be able to live without medication; that I needed to accept it as a part of life… at one point, doctors told me that I would never be able to survive on my own because of my level of self-sabotage.

I was seriouslly depressed, constantly anxious, extremely impulsive, and actively suicidal 90% of the time, not to mention my mounting ptsd symptoms (an enormous difference from my demeanor when not on meds, but few people had seen me prior to starting them by this point. Even I was mostly convinced that I would certainly die without meds (which was honestly part of what prompted me wanting to stop them. At least if I managed to kill myself, the pain would end)).

During one of my last dozen hospitalizations, it was strongly suggested that I not be released back to my home, but rather permanently be sent to a residential facility, as I was an inherent danger to myself. The doctors were shocked that I had survived this long. Even less believable to them was that I had a successful life and career prior to my most recent hospitalizations. I had held down a full-time supervisory position, as well as 3 other part-time jobs up until that final year on meds. I would be hospitalized one week, then return to work as soon as I was released. I attended intensive therapy programs during first shift hours, and worked in the afternoons. I taught trauma informed care workshops. I attended professional trainings. I was very high functioning professionally even as I was crashing personally…

I was lucky enough to have family and friends on my side backing my insistence to receive more intensive treatment (mind you, this was 4 years after I started meds, and roughly 40 hospitalizations in by that time). I knew I was metaphorically drowning. I knew the treatment I was getting wasn’t sufficient (most psych units, even in psych hospitals, don’t offer therapy so much as physical containment), but I did not totally know what might actually help. Dr C was a great resource. She helped me figure out that a specialized trauma program would likely be beneficial. She’d also advocated strongly with the doctors at the local hospital to send me to a more intensive program. Between her, my family, and my own insistence, I was finally admitted to a trauma clinic, The Center at PIW.

There, I finally found some meaningful & intensive help. Despite reading my recent history, the psychiatrist agreed to help me come off all the meds. By the time I left there 2 weeks later, I had tapered off most of the meds. Those last ones I was able to come off of with the help of the psychiatrist at the day program I attended following my discharge from The Center.

The first day back to the IOP, the staff commented that I was doing the best they had seen since I first attended there 4 years ago. They said I seemed clear-headed, articulate, calmer… they asked what changed. When I mentioned I was tapering off the last 2 meds, they seemed incredulous. After all, how could the person who was so debilitated for so long be better not taking the thing they believed was her biggest hope at normalcy? Initially, the psychiatrist was ready to refuse treatment because I was refusing to take medication again, but upon seeing how differently I presented, I was allowed to stay in the program. I was, however, requested not to mention that I was no longer taking any regular psych meds. They claimed it was to avoid compliance problems with other patients in the program. I guess I was seen as an oddity.

After my shortest time “completing” the program (3 weeks or so), I was deemed stable enough to graduate. I returned to only doing individual therapy & the trauma group with Dr C.

Since that time (2011), I’ve only tried psych meds 3 times. Each time I noticed the impulsive drive to kill myself return in less than a week’s time. They faded just as quickly once I stopped taking the pills. The depression still hits hard, but suicide is no longer my first and only thought on how to deal with it. I’m also better able to avoid cutting (actually, I rarely think about using it as a coping tool these days).

Doctors still react with shock and disbelief when I deny being on psych meds despite my diagnoses. I’m pretty sure most believe I’m lying when I tell them I only take something for asthma and stomach issues. Even the neurologist did a side-eye when I mentioned the only 2 meds I take aside of the pot.

In a society where pharmaceuticals run the medical industry, and they are the be-all & end-all of mental health treatment, not taking meds is seen as going against medical advice. Hell, we take away people’s basic human rights when they say meds don’t work so they’d rather not take any. They are deemed an immenant danger to themselves, and not competent enough to make rational decisions… all because something we are indoctrinated into thinking is the only way to treat mental health issues harms some people more than it will ever help them.

I can’t tell you how much I loathe the phrases “you just need to find the right meds or combinations),” and “the benefits outweigh the side effects.” Sometimes there is no right combination, and the benefits definitely do not outweigh the side effects (because for some, there are no benefits). I wish medicine understood this…

Maybe we need to start another movement; that sometimes meds do more harm than good, and there’s nothing wrong with choosing not to take them. There are several notations in my records that insist I’ll die within 6 months max if I were allowed to stop all psych meds, yet here I am, 7 years later, more stable than I ever was on the meds. Oh, and check it out, I’m still alive! Who knew that was possible?! 🤔

It’s time we stop forcing everyone with mental health challenges into a medication routine. They can definitely be helpful for some, but we also need to acknowledge that they can be detrimental to others.


update on Neuro appointment

I had an appointment with the neurologist yesterday morning. He took history, did a Neuro exam, and did some nerve testing on my arm. I have to go back tomorrow morning for the same testing on my legs… I’m kinda anxious about the testing on my leg. It’s not really painful or scary, but I expect it to be triggering. He’ll use mild electric current and sensors to test nerve conduction (there’s also a needle part, but I’m trying not to think about that).

There are two potentially triggering times; 1) if he tests nerves above the knee (I’m thinking about insisting that the testing remain below the knee. I don’t really care if it doesn’t yield complete results. My goal is to avoid flashbacks and panic while he’s got needles stuck in my muscles). 2) later tomorrow night when the points he tested are sore and cramping. With my arm, it felt like someone was pushing their thumb into my arm at those spots. It was uncomfortable, but I could talk myself out of panic because it was just my arm. I’m not confident I’d be able to do that if I felt the same on my thigh. I don’t really think the leg test will show any results different from my arms, so there’s no need to risk a flood of triggers and flashbacks, especially with Dr C still on vacation for 2 more weeks. I know I could talk to her fill-in about it, but that would only come after a weekend of dealing with it… I’m not really up for that right now.

Is that a stupid choice in terms of diagnosis? I dunno. So far, everything’s come back normal except for the d-dimer test. If nerves in my arms aren’t damaged, there’s little likelihood nerves in my leg are. After all, my arms often hurt more than my legs, and I’ve not experienced the same weakness with them. So, yeah. I think I’ve decided to insist that he keep the testing below the knee.

He’s also ordering a special blood test, though I forgot to ask what he’s testing (will do that tomorrow).

I’m not really much closer to answers at this point. It’s still very frustrating.

L and I took the dogs out to a park today. It was really nice to get out, and I pushed myself physically because I’m stubborn and I really miss being in nature. We sat or rested 2/3 of the time (much to the dogs’ frustrations), but it was nice. I’m now paying the price for my stubbornness. My muscles are complaining (weak, tense, painful), and I’m super fatigued. I’ve even gone back to taking pot several times since the outing because of the pain… on the plus side, while I still had a lot of trouble breathing, it wasn’t nearly as bad as 2 weeks ago. The inhaler helped some. The Advil helped some. The pot helped some… and I was able to catch my breath about an hour after getting home. Not bad considering it would have taken more than twice that long even last week.

Anyway. I guess I just needed to write out my reasoning for limiting the testing he will do tomorrow. I know it might sound stupid to some, but… flashbacks suck.

Here’s hoping something brings definitive answers.


run down.

I just want to cry… everything hurts again because I overdid physical activity today (oooohhhh… folding 2 loads of laundry and carrying one upstairs… SO strenuous… ::rolleyes::)

This sucks.

And I know that the neurologist won’t find anything either, coz none of the doctors have yet, so why would he be any different??

I should just save the cash, and keep hiding on the couch. Why waste money we don’t have just to be told there’s nothing wrong with me?

Dr C leaves for her vacation this weekend. The therapist she suggested to see in her absence called, but… what’s the point? Again, more money we don’t have spent trying to figure out how to talk to someone I don’t know, and will likely not see again… :/

I managed about an hour nap today, so insomnia rules dictate that I’m not going to be able to sleep much again tonight.

Have mentioned I’m tired? Emotionally, physically… I’m spent.

I should try my original pot tonight. I haven’t smoked it much since getting my card, mostly because smoking hurts my lungs for the next few days. But maybe I haven’t gotten so tolerant of it. The other formulations we have used to kick my butt to the curb. I’m lucky if they let me nap for a few minutes after taking them. Maybe the flower will let me sleep…


Insomnia and a bit of rambling

Insomnia is back… it’s not like i sleep during the day, though I’m too tired to do much…

I’m not yet tired at the point L goes to bed, so I stay up. Then, it’s suddenly 12:30am and I’m still wide awake.

Even if I can manage to fall asleep now, I’ll be awake again soon… back to only really being able to sleep once the sun is up. It doesn’t work well with others’ schedules.

I have Dr C tomorrow, then I have to tackle cleaning the apartment and laundry. I can’t remember when L works, but hopefully we can do those chores together.

I only ended up taking pot twice today; mostly for anxiety. My legs are still cramping, and my arms are still sore, but not nearly as much as they were. I’m still as easily drained, and as physically exhausted as I have been for the past 2 months. I hope that will ease up on its own soon too. Of course, I can feel my abdominal pain again. I guess the pot was helping that as well. Maybe now I can check back with the gi doctor and figure this out. I know at one point she had mentioned endoscopy. Maybe that would be a good way to rule out other stuff… :/

I want to feel ok. I want to be able to function again…


Sorry for being m.i.a….

I’m still trying to figure out this muscular stuff.

It’s weird and annoying. And now I’m exhausted all the time, running out of breath just from simple, everyday tasks (yesterday it took almost 2 hours to recover from a 30 minute shower)…

At least the neuro appointment is coming up on the 11th. I managed to find someone other than my pcp’s referral. I’m hoping he will have answers, it’s just a matter of getting through the days to the appointment…

My muscles still cramp from any exertion. I’m still dropping things regularly… but I haven’t needed anything for the pain yet today (it’s tolerable without taking meds, though I’m not sure if that’s because my tolerance for it has gone up, or because it’s less intense). Today is the first day since this all began almost 2.5 months ago that I haven’t needed pain meds as soon as the last batch wore off. I’m feeling the cramping in my legs, but it’s not horrible.

My depression is increasing the longer I deal with this tough. I don’t want to do anything, or leave the house really… and for the first time in a while, Dr C’s vacation is causing anxiety…

On the plus side of things, more medically-minded people have suggested that this might be a viral thing I’m dealing with, and not anything majorley life-altering (as long as it passes). The small improvements over time suggest that I’m headed to the other side of whatever this is. I hope they are correct. I’m quite over this whole being sick thing.


Acute pain issues (in the past 5 weeks or so)

Waiting on medical referrals to go through is stressful. I just want to figure out why my extremities hurt so much & are getting weaker, and how to fix it… also, it would be nice to skip pain killers 24/7 so maybe I could function better once again?
It feels like someone’s inserted pegs into my bones and the muscles shred on them every time I move. Moderate pressure feels good for a few seconds, but then it turns to pain. Light touch and deep pressure both are painful. Movement hurts. Heat feels better for a bit, but then it becomes uncomfortable. Cold just hurts right from the start… I’m starting to have trouble with fine motor skills, especially gripping smaller objects like pens or keys (sucks when I try to do art or write… even the Swype function on my phone is painful). Stretching feels better only because it’s a different kind of pain than what happens when I’m resting or actively doing stuff…

I really hope this Neuro referral comes through quickly, I can get in to see someone, and they actually have answers for me. So far, it’s all been “I don’t know; your tests are all normal”

Driving is really painful so I’ve been relying on others for rides since Friday (it doesn’t help that I’m taking the medical mj constantly to keep the pain bearable. There’s no way I’m driving while taking it, or any other prescription pain meds they may try to give me). I drove myself to the urologist this morning because the weather made L too anxious to drive. I had trouble keeping the level of pain under wraps without the pot…

I’m really hoping for simple answers with easy remedies, and soon! My PCP’s office resent the referral today (Wednesday) after it was supposed to have been sent Friday.

I’m trying to no longer let my brain run away down “worst case scenerios” lines of thinking, but it’s difficult. The pain and impairment of function feels like it’s growing daily. I have to have some answers, or at least some relief, soon so I can continue my job at the kennel, keep going to therapy, maintain my independence, and take care of my family… I have to admit though, I’m super grateful today was a snow day. I worked yesterday and my whole body was exhausted and more painful. I’m not sure I can do the two days in a row right now. I might have to plan to spread my shifts out so I can recover between them.

Even now, my arms and legs feel as if they were burning and being stabbed and tightly bound all at once… it’s not excruciating as long as I can dissociate most of the pain… it’s starting to wear me down though, and I’m having more trouble distancing myself from the increasing symptoms… 😦


working helped

I was still struggling with dissociation and being stuck in my head most of Wednesday. Nothing i was trying helped to bring me out of it.

Luckily, I had work that afternoon.

I pleaded with the universe to make it an easy, but distracting shift. She came through for me.

I ended up training a new hire, so I had to constantly think of what I was doing, why, and explain it to her. The dogs were also relatively mellow (though the look on the girl’s face when I mentioned that it was an easier day makes me wonder if I’m not just habituating to a higher level of chaos).

In the end, spending time with the dogs, and having to interact with another human for the whole shift helped ground me for the evening.

I did wake up to some intrusive, uncomfortable thoughts, but overall, today has been much more “present” (Though let me not jinx that at 9am)…

I had some bloodwork to get done this morning, and I was supposed to get a CT scan done at 8, but I messed up the directions, so it’s been pushed to 1pm. I could have gone through with the 8am thing, but it wouldn’t have given the greatest results. I’m having ongoing gi issues, so I want to make the scan worth the effort. I already feel like most of this stuff is “in my head” since previous testing hasn’t shown anything… but then again, my aunt had gi issues for over a decade before the testing finally showed the real problem. I don’t want things to get that advanced in my case…

I hate having to balance worrying that I’m just experiencing psychosomatic stuff with legit medical issues. Dr C says it’s all valid, and even if it does stem from past trauma, there’s still likely a physical reason as well, it’ll just take more time to figure it out…


The insomnia amplifier (and safe spaces).

Have you ever noticed how everything experienced through insomnia is amplified?

It’s not only the after effects in the following days, but also everything experienced in the middle of the night while I’m lying awake.

Tonight, the cat food smell is bothering me. It’s turning my stomach, and it’s the only thing I can smell… but do you think I’d make a move to throw it out into the kitchen trash? Nope. Because making such large movements would not only “wake me up more”, but it would also wake the animals up, who would then get restless… at least, that’s my excuse. I really just don’t feel like crawling out of bed when I have a mere 30 minutes left here anyway. It would have been 2 hours if I simply did it when it started bothering me, but it was easier to smash my face into the pillow than it was to move the trash. Now I’m regretting it…

It’s not only smell that gets amplified when I can’t sleep. It’s any sound or extra light. It’s textures and temperatures and thoughts…

I could text any number of friends who also deal with insomnia, but that would require a conversation, and I’m not sure I’m up for that just now.

It is also in the middle of the night when, before I think too much about the ramifications, I feel like I might want to talk more about the things my body remembers… before my brain kicks in and I worry about reactions and fall-out, before the shame and secrecy set it, I sometimes think it might be healing to talk about the sexual abuse stuff with someone other than just Dr C… it might be validating to have some honest and uncensored conversations about it.

Then my brain kicks in. I think about what might happen, who might react & how they might react… I think of all the invalidation and scrutiny I would get for it, and the lost relationships… and it no longer seems worth it.

I prefer anonymity. I prefer the safety-net of confidentiality… and my heart sinks a little. I feel defective. Even just thinking of talking more openly about it makes me feel like a bad person. The guilt and shame hit hard.

On the one hand, I know it wasn’t my fault; I know the guilt and shame shouldn’t be mine (but they are). I know they should belong to the person (people) who did those things… I know this, but I also can’t fully accept it.

What if I’m remembering wrong? What if I’m exaggerating? What if I’m really just doing this for attention? What if I’m just that horrible, spiteful child the voice in my head says I am? What if I’m just plain wrong?

The ramifications for the named people wouldn’t be huge, but they’d be there. The ramifications for me would likely be worse. If I mentioned someone, and they didn’t actually do anything, I’d lose friends and family (it’s not like I have proof. It’s just my word against their’s, and I have a history of mental health issues, so… gotta love stigma). I’d be branded a liar & attention-seeking by those closest to me. I’ve already gotten that label from some people, but they are not really people that matter to me; providers I’ve seen only once or twice, family or friends I choose to no longer have contact with…

It’s just easier to talk around it in anonymous circles, or to keep conversations in the safety of the therapy office. That might change some day, but right now, it’s all I can manage. The fear doesn’t exactly stop me from longing to connect more authentically with others, but it stops the actuality of it happening…

I miss the csa group Dr C ran. It was more structured, but we still had chances to connect around the experiences of having gone through what we did, and many of us having dissociation around it… it was a safe place to be vulnerable, and we seemed to share understandings around it all… I don’t really know how the group would work in the long run though. Part of the safety came from the structure and the limited time commitment… but some days I really wish I could sit again in a room of people who understood the struggle without having to search so hard to explain it; and to know it’s safe to give voice to some of the memories.


changing attitudes

I’m realizing this year that the things I care about are changing (somewhat dramatically). The basics are the same, but some of the “clutter” is taking its leave. The last 12 months have helped with that process.

  • I care about the lives and happiness of those in my life, but I really don’t care about what people think of me.
  • I care about enjoying what I do, not so much pulling in a check (though bigger checks would definitely be a huge help, especially lately).

I’m trying to minimize my stress. The things that increase my stress are falling further and further to the wayside… It might be the depression talking, but for once, it’s not the anxiety… I just don’t care about the stupid stuff anymore.

I don’t care about drama, and busting my butt for things that cause more stress than joy. I miss working with people I care about. I miss having friends at work, and a place that values quality over the bottom line. I’m tired of going to work and knowing that 9/10 times I’ll be the only staff in with a group of over 20 dogs, a handful of whom shouldn’t be in an unstructured group setting… I’ve learned I care about the dogs I work with, but not about the job itself… it’s time to move on. This place will never be the smaller center, nor will it be like it was under the previous manager. The new guy is definitely very “corporate”, and that’s just not my style. The bottom line should never be more important than the animals we care for…

It might finally be time to take a deep breath, and find another job. It was made more clear when I realized I might be written up for missing a mandatory staff meeting last week, and it didn’t phase me at all.


Me at 20 (assignment for a self – discovery workshop) 

The assignment was to find a metaphorical image of ourselves at a selected age. I had originally picked the number 27 because she first had us just pick a number, without telling us what the number was for.

At 27, I was internally severely depressed, suicidal, and a general mess, but presented as very together to the outside world. I worked almost 80 hours a week. I was a manager at a group home. I had my external shit together… I would land in the hospital for a week, get discharged, and head back to work the day of discharge, or the following day. I worked full-time while attending intensive outpatient treatment around my work schedule… I can’t count anymore how many times I was asked how I could manage that so seemingly easily…

The perfect picture for that would be an ad for the exorcism movie (a b&w photo with a girl sitting in a room alone, her head facing the wrong direction, and the words “there’s a fate worse than death”… I kinda regret not bringing it now…

So yeah, that felt like a bit heavy, and a bit much to bring to this workshop.

The second age I picked was 20 simply because L picked that one. The image for it is an ad for The Good Place…

It’s perfect for me at 20. There were a few bumps, but I was generally unaware. My internal systems did a good job of convincing me everything was fine. I was oblivious except for a few things not going great (hugely depressed, but no real clue why. Trying to work on it in therapy and constantly getting the question “was there anything else?” Because the interventions that should have worked just didn’t…). So yeah, that works well for 20.


Medical marijuana

I don’t understand why marijuana is still mostly illegal in the U.S… (well, ok. I can probably tease it out: cash flow, and maintaining the power structure).

Anyway, I’ve been exploring the wonders of the herb in dealing with chronic pain and ptsd (legally, in my home state). It’s pretty useful for so many things. It’s quelling my anxiety. It’s dulling the pain. It keeps flashbacks from breaking through. It stops overwhelming flashbacks in their tracks. It’s lifting my depression. It’s allowing me to get quality sleep at night, even if I have to get up to take the dogs out in the middle of the night… 

And my only side effects so far? Uncontrollable laughter if I take too much (I’m still figuring out the best dosing), slight paranoia (again, if I take too much), some flakiness (isn’t that the same with most psych drugs?), and relaxation. Hmm… such shitty side effects (<– sarcasm, in case you were wondering).

I was hoping it was going to allow me an easier time in talking freely with Dr C about some of the ickier past things, but the remaining effects from the previous night didn’t allow for enough dis-inhibition… I was able to bring up that I wanted to talk about it, and that I wasn’t sure what part of it I needed to talk about, but I still had trouble actually translating what the kid wanted to tell her… we tried something different around it, and it might have worked had session not been over… 

Oh, the pot also dulls the effects of triggers… there was a scene in Nashville that would have normally been very triggering (Juliet recovers some sexual abuse memories). I was able to listen to it,  and all it pulled up was a vague recognition that something along those lines occurred in my history. There was no overwhelming flashbacks, no unbearable physical sensations… I’d say that’s a huge win. 

Hopefully, I’ll get to a point where I can integrate the crap that hits me at times… maybe I’ll even be able to return to “functioning human being” eventually. That would be nice. 

Here’s to hoping out government continues to move towards legalizing marijuana at the federal level. 


Talking about level of dissociation (for the first time… again…?)

My level of dissociation came up again in therapy. She mentioned DID. Apparently she’s mentioned it before, but I just filed it away. Deep away.

I cringed at her labeling it DID, so she called them “ego states”.

I dunno. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around it all week…

I feel like I need to reach out to everyone I’ve ever worked with to find some corroboration… did anyone else notice the intensity of the dissociation? Did I mention anything about the abuse? Was there any inkling of anything other than major depression and anxiety? Did any of the 18+ therapists I worked with over the years try to clue me in and I just forget?

There were times I remember being told there was more behind my symptoms than just the domestic violence, but no one could tell me what. There were large chunks of time I don’t remember, but I also don’t have any info on what went on during those times…

I have a few records of what happened while I was “out” and hospitalized, but they aren’t very detailed…

I dunno.

I feel like I need someone else to say “yes, this is what we’ve seen all along”; not because I don’t trust Dr C’s assessment, but because I don’t trust what I’ve presented to her… it feels like I’m exaggerating everything, and the words I use give the wrong impression. It feels like I’ve fabricated it all for some reason I don’t really understand.

I dunno…


Anxiety and stress in my body

I’ve had an “off” cardiac history for most of the time I can remember. I’ve seen cardiologists, worn monitors for varying times, but nothing ever gets recorded or noticed as problematic when they are actuality searching for things.

When I was hospitalized, tech’s were constantly either retaking my vitals, or sending a nurse in to check it.

My average resting heart rate runs about 95bpm (i believe the “normal” for women my age is somewhere significantly lower than that).

No one’s been able to give me a solid reason, though the more research i do into ptsd and trauma, the more i realize it’s likely that.

Anyway, this week’s average had been in the 120’s. My doctor noted it when i went in for having sent my back into spasms on Sunday, but quickly dismissed it a a result of the coffee i was finishing… i should have mentioned to her the “poprocks” in my chest several times this past week, but I’m no good at bringing up something other than what she’s focused on in the moment… it kinda feels like someone lit a sparkler or trick candle inside my chest. It lasts for a few minutes, then fades. It comes more frequently as my stress levels go up. It’s not bad though, since it normally feels like a flopping fish…

Anyway, no doctor is really sure what to do with it all. I’m finally figuring out it is highly correlated with my stress and anxiety levels. This week, not only was i pretty triggered, but i injured my back, and i was fighting off something that drained all my energy (though that energy drain seems to correlate much higher with my tachycardia, just not sure if one causes the other, or both are responses to something else)… it’s not really surprising my pulse has been really high all week (if it ever sustains at about 250bpm for more than a few minutes, I’ll take something).

Today’s therapy was highly emotionally taxing, as were the earlier flashbacks…

(I clearly had something else in mind to write, but i was interrupted, and now have long forgotten what it would be).


Oh. I guess that makes more sense…

Dr C managed to piece together for me that today’s flashbacks were probably related to a duckboy anniversary i never really paid attention to: he stalked me at my college freshman year right around thanksgiving… i knew it was an event in our relationship, but i never really thought that it would cause ripples so far forward.  she hypothesized that, since it was finally the last interaction with him, it stuck with me. 

I guess it makes sense then that today’s flashback involved him…