Tag Archives: distance

Hypnogogic hallucination

Early Friday morning as I was taking the little dog out in a half- asleep state, I thought I heard someone whisper “who’s coming?”. It scared the crap out of me. It took me another two hours to get back to sleep.

Now I’m wondering if it didn’t have something to do with this distanced, slightly dissociative episode that’s going on. Wonder if I was giving myself a heads-up about how intense it will be.

Feels like I’m stuck in angry, rebellious teenage mode. It’s a difficult space to be stuck in…

“It sounds like a little kid thought process”

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

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

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

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

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

Art dump

Things have been wierd lately. I’ve been feeling better, but not really. I’ve had more success distancing, and the super-heavy depression has lifted to just average depression. Finally got around to running some errands that needed running, as well as doing some long-overdue chores. Today I played art. Messing more with those pebeo paints I won from the mothers day art raffle… there’s quite the learning curve to get the paint:outline radio just right. It’s also recommended not to drink while painting (dropped a heart I was outlining and, like buttered bread, it landed face-down). I was able to salvage it, and I threatened to paint in the outline on the tile floor also (which strangely enough, my mom was laughing about and said it would be ok)…

Anyway, here’s what I have pics of. The salvaged heart will be photographed again after the outline is dry so I don’t screw it up worse 😉

defenses gone awry

I had started consciously distancing myself from my self-destructive thoughts maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago? It was very much on purpose, in an effort to respond to stress differently and not land myself in the hospital. This started as a good thing. It was helpful. I kept reminding myself that I needed to change my reactions to change the outcome. Great. Makes sense.

Only somewhere along the way, I lost control of it all.

While it started as something deliberate and beneficial, it has turned frustrating. I’m not connecting to anything on an emotional level. It feels very much like watching a bad b-movie from the main character’s perspective… Only I think movie characters have a better sense of connection than I do. It feels like nothing really transfers to longer-term memory. Everything feels far away both spatially and temporally. I met with TM today. I know I was physically there, but I was watching from a dark room somewhere in the back of my head. It wasn’t even a rough session. We went over the “positives” timeline. I told her stories around the listed events. I fleshed out the positive parts of my life. It was good to have that reminder, but I felt like I was reciting someone else’s life. I don’t recognize it as my own. I don’t recognize the session as an experience I had…

I’m not sure I’m explaining this well. It’s difficult enough to grasp, let alone explain.

I know I also met up with a friend for lunch afterwards. I know we met because I have a receipt from the restaurant. I have a vague sense of having spoken to him today, but again, it’s from a great distance and with no emotional connection.

It all feels like a dream. It all fades as fast as dreams do the longer you are “awake”…

I try to ground myself. I try to be mindful of the moment, and draw in the experience – will myself to remember it. It all feels so very far away though. I try to write about it, but pretty much the instant the moment is over, I’ve lost touch with it. If I’m not writing in the moment, it’s mostly gone in an hour or less.

I had written something to TM after last week’s session. At the time I wrote it, I instructed myself to print it out and give it to her this week. I wrote that I knew I would lose the connection to it and no longer understand why it was I wanted to give it to her. I titled it “Print this out and give to TM on Tuesday”… and yet I failed to give it to her. Once in the office, I worried that I would not know how to answer any questions she may have about what I had written. I didn’t relate to any of it anymore, so I wouldn’t be able to explain it… It’s still in my bag. I never gave it to her; never even hinted at having written anything. I wrote a bit again today, and did similar instructions to myself. Maybe I will manage to give it to her next week.

I think I left her a message today asking to find a way to effectively ground from this. It too feels like a dream, but there is a call to her number later in the day, so I must have followed through on it.

This was a decent defense-mechanism in theory, but it has gotten way out of hand. I need help reigning it back in. I have started and stopped to reach out for more help around it a bunch of times lately, but I always forget why it was I tried to call someone or write a post. It doesn’t make sense to me, or I forget what I was going to ask, so I hang up, or delete the post. I feel like my trains of thought de-rail quickly and easily. I get distracted at the slightest thing. Sometimes I can recognize it as that push to keep stress at bay, but other times I don’t notice the effort. I need to be able to make it a conscious and deliberate thing again.

I worried about my walls for no reason…

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

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

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

multi-tasking like a mad woman… squirrel!

I find myself desperate for sensory bombardment these last several weeks. It started as an attempt to gain distance from the flashbacks, but now it’s a need to have distance from everything. I don’t want to think any more than I have to.

I have the tv on all day. I listen to music, play on my phone, putz around online, and try to do art. I don’t want to think, so I bounce back and forth with things. I’m restless. I can’t really concentrate for long, so I read forums, start and stop articles of interest, pay some attention to the tv, scrounge for comfort foods… I can’t really concentrate on conversations  so I prefer texting or messaging (because I can come back to it after the distraction wears off)…

Distance and early a.m. ramblings

L had called yesterday and we talked. I was able to be a bit more present with her for a while,  then my head was “off to the races”. I find that it happens a lot lately.

I was explaining the dissociation to someone, and I tried to explain why simple grounding techniques don’t work. I’m so adept at functioning outwardly sometimes that I can speak and act as if I were present, but my head is a whirlwind. I can walk through basic grounding exercises that should bring me back to a room, but they don’t.  I can hold conversations and tell you all about the objects in the room, or how the chair feels on my body. The whole while, I’m speaking from miles away. The first time I was able to articulate the distance was to D last year.  I had just started seeing him, and something panicked me.  He tried the grounding. I told him it wasn’t working. I was afraid he’d be mad, but he asked me to describe it. It felt like my mouth and body were on autopilot. I was able to try to describe remaining disconnected. It felt like my brain and my eyes were very far away. It felt like I was just doing what he asked because I felt like I had to. It was very weird. I was at once terrified of him but feeling safe with him.  I felt like I had to be honest, but I couldn’t pull myself back into the room out of fear. I remember hearing myself tell him that everything my body and my mouth were doing in that moment was because someone thought it was appropriate in the moment, but I wasn’t connected to it. “I” remained floating and hiding in the background somewhere.

It had been a new experience then. Prior to that, I had not been aware of any split.  I wonder how much of it had to do with starting to trust him, but still having a huge fear of him simply based on the fact that he was a man. I think part of it was based on prior experiences of having to do what I was told, but recognizing that it still didn’t feel totally safe… I wish I had this insight back then.  Maybe we could have worked through it a bit…

Some of the disconnect is similar even now, but I think I’m less aware of it. I don’t feel compelled to admit to De the extent of the disconnect when we work on grounding. I can tell her whether I’m back or not sometimes when she asks, but I don’t feel the fear of coming back completely, I simply don’t all come back… hmm… stuff to address at some point with someone…