Tag Archives: distractions

As soon as I stop running from distraction to distraction, the black hole returns to my chest…

After session today, I came home and dragged art stuff outside bent on making a mess. I invited one of the neighbors to join in the mess making. She didn’t end up participating, but we chatted for a while.

The mess turned out ok. I tried something I had seen a friend do a lot of lately: fluid acrylic abstract painting.

It was fun to put large amounts of paint and water to canvas and watch the components interact… I tried harder with the first painting (blue/ green/ black), and I think it looks kinda forced. The second one (magenta/ orange) was more spontaneous. I picked colors I don’t normally use, and just went to town wherever the paint landed. I really like it, except I used too much water so a lot of the color was lost as it dried…

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Yesterday & Today

The anxiety was overwhelming yesterday. I wasn’t connected to the emotional impact of it at first; it was just the physical symptoms (being “on alert”, racing heart, tense muscles, distracted by everything, inability to sit still, feeling out of breath). They were intense and lasted the whole day. I tried to breathe through it and repeat grounding phrases, but very little worked to slow any of it for more than a few moments at a time. I jumped almost every time a customer walked through the door. Every loud noise startled me, and the constant barking of the dogs kept it feeling like I needed to stay on alert (in reality, the dogs were just barking because they are away from home and stressing, not because there’s anything to be worried about). I counted all the dogs and did the walk-through at least 7 times before leaving. I felt like every customer might be angry with me or cause a confrontation (no one actually was/did). I went back several times to check the doors to make sure they were locked. I even sat in the parking lot with my dogs ready to leave but mentally going over everything again to make sure everything was done before I left…

This morning is a bit better. It took forever to fall asleep, and I definitely didn’t sleep well, but I got some sleep, so that was good. Unfortunately, my stuff has a habit of kicking in as the day wears on. I noticed the anxiety returning about an hour ago. The echos of the past are still there, though mostly emotional at this point… :/

There’s group later today, so that should help. Then L and I have to clean up and make the apartment look presentable. I hope they don’t freak out over the cats and snakes. They know about the dogs, but the rest wasn’t mentioned at the time we moved in… there’s also some financial stuff I need to get on the ball with asap…Maybe now would be a good time to motive and call for that extra assistance from local social services. If I could just get some support doing all this stuff, it might help make it easier…

The self-harm thoughts are screaming at me still… gotta keep avoiding them, though it would help my head shut up for a while… Maybe I should try the aprn at Dr C’s office and see if he can give me something for the anxiety when it gets this bad..


Running

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

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

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

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


Mandatory distraction can be good

Thursday’s appointment with my doctor was super triggering. Not only did it bring up the distant past, but it brought up the events of 5 years ago.

I had hoped to have individual therapy after the appointment, but Dr C had asked if I was ok moving group to the later time (since I would have missed group for the doctor’s appointment). I agreed to making that individual slot group instead. I regretted it almost immediately, but I had already agreed, so I wasn’t going to reneg…

I’m glad I at least had group. Between group and the triggering appointment, I had asked Dr C if she had additional individual time that day. She didn’t, but suggested I try to talk in group. I wasn’t at all sure I would know how to make what I needed to process group-appropriate, but Dr C managed to lead me there. It helped being able to be a bit more open, though I felt bad for being so self-absorbed during group…

Anyway, today was more distraction: a former college roommate is visiting from another part of the country. We’ve been hanging out quite a bit. It’s nice to have someone around during the day. She gets the depression piece intimately. We don’t talk too much about it, but it’s nice to have someone other than L with whom I can be honest.  She’s also an awesome motivator to get moving. We ended up walking just over 5 miles today with the dogs. I have not done anything like that since several weeks (if not months) before the move. It was good to get out, even if it reminded me exactly how out-of-shape I am…

Tomorrow will be another forced distraction: I will be working a 9-hour day. They generally wear me out. Being at work, interacting with customers all day, also forces me to be out of my head whenever they are there. Then when I finally get home, I don’t want to do much of anything other than veg on the couch… I hope that will all accumulate to be enough to keep me stable.

Speaking of stability, I’m contemplating asking Dr C what she thinks of trying to increase session frequency in an effort to jump-start progress. I’m so tired of feeling so stuck. I will figure the financial piece out somehow…

I’m tired of being so triggered by so much. I’m tired of not being fully in my relationship. I’m just tired… all week I’ve been battling increased self harm urges. I’m tired of that also. I’m tired of struggling with one coping skill or another. I just want to be fixed already.

I mentioned to my friend today that I never pictured myself living to this age. I always thought I’d die by 24. To still be kicking at 36 is almost beyond my comprehension. I need to get my shit together and get back to living a someht productive life. I’m tired of being a failure because I can’t get out of my own way long enough to succeed at something.

So tomorrow is work. Sunday is spent with the wife. And Monday we’ll work on an accelerated plan for therapy. Maybe some day that will lead to being able to being settled and stable.


I have no nifty title for this…

My brain feels like mush lately. I feel as if I’ve been running non-stop for weeks (when in actuality, it’s only been 5 days… and they were not even consecutive days). I can’t hold a conversation or pay attention to much of anything.

I have therapy in about an hour. This should be fun with mush-brain… at least I have some stuff written out that I can show her, and my first art journal…

My brother and his wife had their baby on Tuesday 😀 Went to see her that day for a short time. They are going to be awesome parents! (Though it’s a bit weird to think my little brother has a kid). I want to go back and see her again, but I know they need their time to get adjusted. L and I are hoping to head there Sunday for a bit…

Really have to take some time today and try to clean the house. We never did it this past weekend, and it shows in a big way…

Little dog is coming to therapy with me. He’s been locked up a lot this week, and I feel bad telling him he’d have to be locked up yet again… He will also be a good balance for the session. There’s some heavy stuff that’s been making waves in my brain for a while now, and I really want to address at least some of it. Having Little Dog there will give me an easy grounding object (or so I hope).

Anyway, sorry for the jumpy nature of this post. Hopefully I will be back to reading and writing with more regularity soon.


Finally showed her one of my art journals

I’ve been lugging some stuff back and forth to my appointments with Dr C since I stated seeing her again. Yesterday I was able to tell her about them. I ended up showing her one of the art journals & that icky timeline I had done for TM. She encouraged me to keep bringing in the art journals, and we made a tentative plan to show her the rest of the stuff I have been lugging around at the next session…

I was also able to voice that I’m still building trust again both with her and the group. She said it was normal and expected. Phew!

It was a good session. I’m glad to be back working with someone I know, and who knows me. While things have changed since the last time we worked together, there’s a lot less of the “getting to know you” stage and that’s a huge relief.

When I started writing this entry, I had the intention of covering more, but distractions happened and I no longer remember what I wanted to write… oh well. Next time (which may end up being another week, because life is pretty busy right now).

Hope you all are doing well. Catch ya later!

-sj


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.


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.


Sudden freak-out moment

I was up early this morning. I normally am awake, but in bed for several hours before I actually get up. This morning I physically got out of bed before 6:30am. I sat on the patio with the dogs and drank my coffee… the problem with that though, is the panic over this move and the losses kicked in earlier in the day. I did my online stuff already and it’s not even 10 am. I’ve finished all the distractions that normally get me through to 1 pm… now there’s time to think. I really don’t want to think. I don’t want to remember that everything changes in 3 weeks. I don’t want to remember that next week is my last session with TM. I don’t want to tackle the giant task of sorting things, packing them, and moving them. I don’t want to think about the fact that I feel people see my animals as disposable. I don’t want to be aware of any of the losses or changes coming up… and I don’t want to cry.

I suddenly feel very needy today. I want to be a little kid and not worry about anything, only I’m worried about everything.

Maybe if I get the dogs up-&-at-’em, their craziness will provide a distraction for the time being. I could do mani-pedis and give the little guy the haircut he so desperately needs. Then maybe I can clean out the snake cages I’m hoping to sell before the move… and… I don’t know. Hoping that provides enough distraction and draining to allow this panic to abate.


Distractions: art

I’ve been pretty busy being creative. It’s easier than facing packing and endings and difficult decisions.

Here’s what I’ve done in the last few days…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Another Friday night, another fun journal class

I may or may not kick myself tomorrow because I may or may not have purchased another art journal tonight. There was a sale though. And a coupon. So… yeah. I had to get it. It was way cheap! (I’m really just trying to justify the expense when I had no business spending. We need to save every penny for this move…).

Anyway, went to the class tonight. We played with spray inks. While I miss having the longer class to be able to do something more than a background, I think I like what came out of today.

The first page was done with dylusion & Heidi Swapp spray inks using commercially available stencils. The second page was done using the home-made fabric dye inks and my fall-back black printer ink with a home-made mask and some commercially available stencils. I really actually like both pages a lot. The second page got more attention tonight, so it was a bit more finished. Not at all sure what I will be putting on the blue/purple/yellow page. I’m sure I will figure it out though.

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The nipples were totally an accident, but they had us cracking up 😉 I had picked up the mask and just wasn’t able to move it from the page fast enough for it to not drip… :shrugz: it works.

I’m really going to miss my friend and her classes. I was struggling with body memories today. The usual distractions at home did not help. Going to the class and engaging not only with the art, but also the others in the class helped lessen them however. They returned when I returned home but they were not as intense. I’m going to have to make sure I find something like this up north. It won’t be the same, but hoping it will help just the same.


IOP fail

Wow that was triggering. Not only did the staff not have it together (no one knew why I was there or where to send me), but it’s on the second floor of a locked psych hospital. I needed to be buzzed in the front door, leave my belongings, buzzed in through another set of doors, buzzed up the stairs… it was worse on the way out. There were 5 locked doors to get through that way.

Over the phone I was told it would be a 2-hour appointment: first filling out intake paperwork, then a meeting with the program director. When I got there, I learned they expected me to stay the whole first day. I mentioned that I needed to go after 2 hours because that was all I had alloted per the phone conversation last week. It was also all the time I paid for at the parking lot…

There was a ton of miscommunication and misunderstanding before I even set foot in the door. The groups were rowdy and loud (a huge trigger when I’m already anxious), and everyone spoke over everyone else. Oh, and the only bathroom was a single occupancy room with entries from both group rooms. I hate going to the bathroom anyplace but home. It makes me very anxious. Having people know and hear me pee? Even worse…

I was so glad to be able to get out.  There is no way in hell I’m returning there. I left 2 hours ago and still am trying to center & calm myself. I keep looking around the house to remind myself I’m home.

I left TM a quite panicked message upon leaving, begging her to tell me I never had to go back…

I think I need to call them. I will tell them I changed my mind, and ask them to shred my paperwork… the move should be enough of a distraction at this point (I hope). And I won’t bug TM after tomorrow either. She shouldn’t have to put up with me just because this IOP was more triggering than therapeutic…


backfired

I went to the beach to de-stress. I walked. I went in the water… I formulated a plan. So I got the heck out of there and took myself to dinner for sushi. I shouldn’t have wasted the $15, but I needed a continued distraction…

I want to go back to the beach because it was really calming. But at the same time, I need to not go back right now.

I hate this…

I talked to two friends. It was good. I miss them both a lot. One I will get to see soon after I return up north, the other will take a bit more effort…

I think I should call TM’s office, but… I utilized the crisis chats. It helped a bit.

Gonna plan to take the dogs out, shower, change, jump into bed, and maybe watch a movie or tv show off one of the streaming services. L will be off work soon, so that will be another distraction. Then I may leave a message for TM. I think I may need more help on accountability this weekend, though I really don’t want to bug her about it. That stupid boundary I have in my head might just have to flex for this.

I’m still supposed to go to the IOP intake Monday morning. Then I see TM on Tuesday. Gotta keep going through then… New plan will happen after that.

“My track record for making it through bad days so far is 100%…”


jewlery-making as distraction

grounding braceletsI made a handful of grounding bracelets today… I started making one for TM, then made another for her and couldn’t decide which I want to give. Then I just kept going. Made 6 in total, and a necklace. I would have made more, but I am out of toggle clasps. Listed everything on etsy except the two choices for TM.

Now that the distractions are up, all I want to do is cry.

Made some progress on the move front yesterday by reserving a pod (so we don’t have to worry about towing our stuff. in the long run, it ends up costing about the same). We have no place to move to, but hopefully the apartment L applied for will be approved with all 3 dogs. If not, we will keep looking… The hope provided by the apartment possibility is wearing off now. The depression is looming huge and dark. I’m so tired of this.

Add to all that now saying goodbye to TM 2 weeks before we had planned and I’m a puddle. I go through the motions. I function (barely), but I’m not feeling anything but heaviness. I guess tomorrow I will call at least one of the three referrals she gave me yesterday. TL might still work there. If she does, and it would be ok, maybe I could see her again till I leave. It would help going back to someone I know even if it’s a different organization.

There’s so much stuff I know I need to do asap around the house, but I just can’t… The little dog is starting to grow dreads. He desperately needs a bath and haircut. I just don’t have the energy. The reptile room also needs spot-cleaning, but again, no energy.

How do you treat depression symptoms that neither meds nor behavioral therapy can touch anymore? I am still adamantly against ECT, so that will never be an option. What’s left?


As soon as the distractions slow, my head spins out of control.

I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m so tired.

I don’t like the prospect of having to give up any of my kids, let alone one of the dogs. But we can’t find any place that will take all three. Not that I think they would let us in any way. My credit sucks. I can’t figure out how to reliably pull myself out of that hole… I start to get somewhere, then the depression pulls me down into the black hole and it’s all shot to hell. Kinda like the rest of my life. I start to get it going again, then depression shows up and I’m back down hard and fast.

Fuck it. It will never change…


Themes much? (Art Journal)

Done over the last few days. I’m obsessed with the pebeo mirror foil… and needing some reminders apparently.
Also, new gelato colors are wonderful.

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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.


rawr! depression and pms are a fun combination

:/

you know when you put something out into the universe, and it’s supposed to come to you? why the heck can’t that ever happen with the really awesome stuff? why is it always the stuff I really don’t actually want, or stuff I fear?

last night I journaled to myself about my hesitation to meet with TM today b/c I want to maintain my emotional distance… I recognized that I really didn’t want to not meet with TM today, but that I was just uninterested in losing my distance (there’s something about her office that allows me to drop my walls after I spend all week carefully crafting them… grr!).

anyway, she called today about 40 minutes before I was to leave the house to say she was going home sick.

why can’t I win the lottery when I put that out there? or why can’t we find an apartment that allows all our dogs? I would prefer that to stuff like missing an appointment or someone getting sick.

there were other “stupid” reasons I was disappointed about the cancellation: I was going to get pizza from one of the only good pizza places in this state; I was going to drop an art piece off for a local art show the weekend after next; I was going to get my favorite coffee from my favorite coffee shop… :sigh: sure, I could have gone out of the house regardless of my appointment with TM, but that area of town is about 30 minutes away. If I was going to go anywhere, it would have been to some shops to look around (reptile stores and fish stores are particularly relaxing)… but again, I just didn’t have the energy to make the effort. mom went to run some errands, and the thought of having to drive “all over” (3 stores all within 3 miles of the house) was too much effort.

sigh.

I also made the mistake of posting an “unpopular” opinion on my fb page. I couldn’t think of any eloquent ways to rebuke their stances, so I just closed out the page and left them to rant at me without bothering to read on. maybe tomorrow (or next week, or next month)… I napped instead.

now I’m watching tv re-runs with mom because I need some sort of background noise. trying to find my zen, happy place, but it feels out of reach. hoping TM feels better soon, and I can actually meet with her this week. aside of dragging me to that part of town, there’s comfort in seeing her. stupid feelings of connection. rawr! walls back up please.


thoughts and ramblings… (apologies for this wall of text)

I had my usual appointment with TM today. I struggled to explain to her what was different about this weekend. She asked what the motivators were for my change in attitude. I couldn’t put my finger on the tiny “half-spark” of internal motivation for the change, but I also could not adequately describe the difference in external motivators either. At one point, I tried to explain that I disliked being a cause for concern. I don’t think I explained the “why” behind that very well though… Just now, reading through an older post from another blog I follow, I found a wonderfully concise and accurate description:

“I have always reacted badly to emotionally affecting other people; it’s like I should exist as a neutral entity. Especially when it comes to people who matter to me.” ( blogged about it in this post from last year)…

I’ll have to try to remember this the next time I see TM.

Anyway, we talked about the weekend, and she challenged me to find what it was that allowed for that tiny bit of internal push to change how things turn out. I kinda thought about it already while running errands on the way home… I don’t think she will like the answer (though maybe she will be able to put a positive spin on it): Since I don’t have a fool-proof, guaranteed-to-work method to kill myself, I might as well work to make the interim as pleasant and productive as possible. If I’m in crisis and falling apart at the slightest sign of stress, I will certainly not be making the most of this time I’m “stuck” here. I will also never progress past the initial “dump” of info in therapy. I need to be able to get past this point.

To that end, TM pointed out what should have been obvious to me but wasn’t: I’m still pretty depressed. We talked about what my barriers are to accomplishing even the simplest things. I had reported to her Friday that I had tried several times between Tuesday and Friday  to go to the beach without any success. She wanted specifics around what had me turning around. I explained that it should have been easy enough for me to go, since I always have a “beach bag” in the car (shirt, shorts, blanket, towel, bathing suit). I could simply head out and either change when I got there, or go in jeans and change into dry shorts after. But I would get stuck on all the steps needed to make it to the beach. Sometimes I would start to go, get much of the way there, then turn around because the remaining effort was just too much. The slightest hinderance to making the full journey (which is really only about 6 miles or less, and maybe takes 20 minutes) had me losing my resolve to go. It became overwhelming to think of having to make all those turns, go through all those lights, find parking, gather my stuff, walk “all the way out” to the water, find a spot to consider “mine” or walk along the shore… And if I decided to go in the water, I would have to make sure my stuff didn’t blow away, and my valuables were safely hidden, and battle the waves to get to a point where I can just chill… It was so much easier to just turn around and go home. (I also described my thought process around going to the mall several weeks ago to exchange my bra. She was surprised at how far I broke it down, and admitted that having to think about doing all that would exhaust her also). She agreed that my miles-long list of “steps to get there” could seem to out-weigh the single acknowledged gain. This was where she pointed out “what [I] probably already know, but…” that’s all depression talking. I sometimes forget that depression can also manifest as a lack of energy or enjoyment from things. I’m so used to it being a horrid, hopeless, lifeless mood that as soon as the mood lifts a bit, I don’t see the depression anymore. I think the universe has been trying to bring this to my attention of late. Not only has TM now pointed it out, but I had followed a few forum posts where it was suggested that the poster still was experiencing depression despite the lack of depressed mood. It was more of a behavioral presentation. If I take an honest look at myself lately, I have to admit I’m still obviously depressed. Not only do I find it incredibly difficult to motivate around anything or take enjoyment out of what used to be enjoyable activities, but I also actively battle a higher intensity of “self-destruct” thoughts than would be considered my baseline… So much for moving past the depression. :sigh:

Anyway, she left me with cognitively challenging homework this week (a good balance to the emotionally challenging timeline from last week). I’m supposed to document (timeline or otherwise) some happy/good events in life. I laughed at her and said it would probably all fit on a post-it, compared to the large piece of brown paper I brought the other timeline in on. We laughed, then commiserated on the salience of negative or traumatic memories as opposed to positive/happy ones. I pointed out that we probably wouldn’t have gotten very far in the history of humanity if we forgot tigers might rip our arms off when we tried to cuddle them in the forest. She laughed at that. I like that we have a similar sense of humor, and our thought-process is somewhat similar. I again almost asked her if I could take her with me when I moved…

The other piece of homework was more of a reflective exercise: to figure out what happened to give me that internally motivated little half-spark of hope that helped me get through the weekend. That is so much more challenging. I can easily figure out the external motivators: L, the animals, not wanting to wind up in the hospital, not liking the feeling of causing others to worry or be concerned… easy-peasy. Internal factors though? maybe the discomfort with causing worry? (because it has changed somehow from not feeling worthy or deserving of worry, to disliking the feeling I get within myself when others say they are worried. I know I’m not describing that well, but…). So yeah, I dunno. This one may take me forever to accomplish.

On another note, though TM offered the possibility of a scheduled phone check-in, we ended with leaving it up in the air. I told her I really wanted to prove to myself that I can be self-sufficient (because I used to know how to do that at one time). She made it a point to say that neither calling nor not calling her would mean a failure of any kind. I’m glad she has been listening to all my fears, lol. While I still am seeing calling her as a failure, I will keep playing her statement over and over again in my head. Regardless what happens this week around seeking support, I will not have failed… (some day, I might believe that).

 


change is hard…

I am still struggling so much this weekend.

The one thing keeping me from completely falling apart is the mantra that “I can never get past this point if I keep reacting the same way as I always have…”

Yes, the fear of dealing with all this is huge. Yes, I want to self-destruct more than almost anything… but that “almost” is the hope that maybe this time I can change things. This time, if I don’t fall head-long into crisis (self-harming severely, making risky decisions about safety, winding up in the hospital…), I can finally get through to some progress. I can maybe finally settle my past into the past. Maybe this time I can find a way through the darkness…

So I talk back to the voice in my head that tells me to shred my body, or that tells me to quietly end my life.

I really don’t like that I caused TM to be worried about me. I don’t like that my wife worries, or my mom. I don’t like that my dog gives me that look when she sees me in bed too long, or wrestling the desire to whip out a blade… She was there the first time I seriously attempted to take my life. She stayed far away from me for weeks after that. She came to me for the basics, but nothing else. I see that same worried look on her face again. The other dog will try to coax me out of bed. I hate that I worry them…

So I’m still here. I’m distracting and reaching out, and finding that “pattern interrupt” that TM wants me to find.

I spent time at the beach again today. I might do the same tomorrow… I need to keep doing things differently than I have in the past.

:sigh:

It would be so much easier to just give in and cut, or OD, or disappear… but I can’t do that. So I keep pushing myself to not fall into the old ruts. I’m sure I’ll slip up, but for now I’m trying.


Art therapy: change your art to change your understanding

Been having a really rough couple of days. Trying to distract through art and getting out of the house and all sorts of other things. Been having trouble with my “containment” as everything has yet to be transferred from the messy closet to the pensieve. Then last night I remembered a concept from art therapy that suggests changing elements in an expressive piece can help change your understanding of them. Makes sense…

So last night I took the journal page with the closet busting at the seams, and added a pensieve. It’s a magical object, so it doesn’t need to totally work the way Rowling suggested in Harry Potter… instead of having to individually retrieve memories and place them into the bowl, this pensieve is set to “automatic upload”… it won’t dump anything without my initiation, but it will transfer all the memories from the closet to itself, kinda like my Dropbox is set to automatically upload photo files from my phone. There’s too much to move one by one, so the creators of this pensieve set up a batch file upload 😉

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Other distractions worked on recently: (complete with gratuitous kitty-sleeping-on-mom’s-art-supplies shot)

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This last one is still a work in progress. I added some glass bead gel to it, but I really am not liking how it’s looking, so I’m just going to post a pic before I ruined it with the gel.

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I’m supposed to meet with TM for an additional appointment today. I’m feeling guilty for taking up her limited time today. She just called to change the appointment time because of a last minute change in her schedule. After hanging up with her, I wanted to call back and tell her to just cancel. I know her time is super-limited this week. She shouldn’t have to juggle things to fit me in. I should stick to the original schedule and not bug her for more support. I should be able to figure this out on my own by now. I should have a better handle on things… ok, I admit I’m handling this better than a year ago, and certainly better than I would have 4 years ago, but the progress is too slow. I should be so much further along by now. I shouldn’t need to waste my therapist’s time with stupid shit like not being able to handle the flooding and flashbacks… :/

I’m mad at myself for needing so much support over this. But mostly I’m disappointed that I just can’t seem to “get it right”. I can’t seem to learn how to shake off the past (even when it comes busting into my living room)…

My plan for today: try meditation for a while. Go to therapy (and try not to feel too bad about wasting her time). Go to the beach and try to float mindfully in the water. It’s supposed to storm today, but that just means the beach will hopefully be less crowded.


That declined quickly

For some reason, my filters were “off” in session yesterday. I think it might have been a combo of anxiety, having a ton of stuff I wanted to cover, too much coffee in the morning, and excitement over free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s…

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I was bordering manic-level with my chattering to her. I was honest about my thoughts around processing stuff, what I expected my reactions to be, and that I wanted to push through anyway. I told her why I worried I’d be a pain in the ass. I told her I was sure my neediness would kick into high gear, and I’d end up calling frequently if the overwhelm got too high. I think she kinda gave me permission to call in her reaction to my statement, even if in the next breath she had to acknowledge the reality of her limits (I said something along the lines of “if we did that, I’d probably be calling you every five minutes” to which she responded that she would then pick up the phone every five minutes for the next week, “well not every five minutes, that would be impossible…”). I don’t think I’d honestly call that much, though I would want to reach out a lot. I would likely just agonize over it and maybe call her once or twice, but it would feel as annoying to me as calling her every 5 minutes.

Anyway… yesterday was productive I guess. I didn’t cover what I really had hoped to be able to say, but I was honest about a lot of things. We agreed to push on this processing stuff. She was trying to figure out of it would be better for me to put off the homework till closer to the next session since I tend to think about stuff right away which gives me too long to stress over it and put up walls around it. We decided to just do it however it happened, and she again told me to call if stuff got too much. I’m not sure if I was taking her permission into account, or I was simply distracted, but I didn’t start my homework from her till late last night (I usually at least start to think about before I even leave her office; way too many years of being conditioned to do homework before anything else).

The actual homework she gave me was to write down some of the fragmented memories that are bothering me, put them in some sort of chronological order or categorization, add in what emotions went with the memory, write out an alternate ending to the memory, and finally, write out the positives in my life despite those memories.

My immediate thought when she first mentioned it was to find a roll of paper and do a time-line style thing (in crayon, coz I found a nice big box on sale. They need to be used at least once before the dog finds them and I’m left with nothing again). I’m not really sure how else to depict how unsure I really am about the chronology of it all. Some of it I can kinda place based on the setting of the memory or how old I look based on what my body looks like in it, but saying something came before or after something else is about the best I can do. To place even that much, I need to put in the other landmarks I am sure of (births, deaths, moves…) so a visual time line feels easiest for me.

Unfortunately, nothing is ever that neat and tidy. I started my time-line with the intention of keeping it to the basic landmarks while trying to place the fragments accordingly. It was going ok until I forgot how unstable everything in my closet actually is. Suddenly I was at the bottom of a giant pile of memories and emotions. All I could do was sit there with music pumping into my ears. I stared blankly at my time-line for a long while (long enough for the cat to sit on it, then realize he wasn’t actually obstructing anything by sitting there so he left – his plot for world domination foiled again…). I think after about an hour, I was able to move again. I left TM a message asking if it was ok to do that part in session with her, and that I would do the “positives” stuff she asked me to do even if I didn’t do the rest.

We had briefly talked about the concept of flooding with all this processing. I’m not sure what part of my brain prevents me from understanding the full impact of stuff like this when I’m sitting safely in her office, but I was so convinced it wouldn’t be as overwhelming as she was cautioning it to be. I understand the concept of flooding. Been through it before. Clearly got stupid around remembering what it is actually like in the moment… I think my bravado around it comes from the concept of not going there alone, when in reality, it wasn’t supposed to be something I was going to do with anyone else around. While the flooding technique to deal with anxiety is generally done with a trained, supportive person around, the flooding that comes with this processing would happen alone… why do I always forget that? I’m always expecting more support around it than is possible… 😦

When all gung-ho about getting through this stuff, I need to try to remember it will always be done alone unless I were to try residential treatment for it. :sigh: it’s not that I’m mad at any person for this, it’s just the nature of available trauma treatment out there. Funding sources pay for only so much, the rest needs to happen as it can, without additional support. This doubt around the thought of processing stuff on a regular outpatient schedule always comes up when I start to get to work. I remember the panic of feeling so alone in it all, and I wonder if I shouldn’t hold off until I can afford an inpatient/residential option… as helpful as that would be, I can’t afford it any time soon, so what do I do with all this ickiness in the interim?


friday

Today is jam-packed & full. I guess it matches my brain…

I didn’t sleep well again last night. I woke early, but I also couldn’t get out of bed this morning. I finally dragged my butt up, but everything was slow in happening. I ended up visiting a friend with the intention of working more on art. I did the background for the piece I want to enter into a mother’s day show, but that’s as far as I got. I was quite distracted. Then I had to jet off to therapy. TM and I talked, but I’m hazy on what it all was. I know we addressed the current huge stressor a bit. I know I asked her to keep focusing on the trauma anyway because I feel like I keep getting to a point of opening up about it, but never a point of really working on it. I can’t really remember what we talked about. I think a thread through everything we touched on was safety (she took notes this time, which she doesn’t normally do. the word “safety” was highlighted). I think we had talked about some symptoms, because she ended up calling something “hypervigilance” and it kinda clicked as such after she labeled it. I don’t exactly remember what it was, but I know I told her that I hadn’t thought to call it that because it didn’t manifest in the way I thought hypervigilance would. We talked about it a bit, and came to the conclusion that I do tend to be hypervigilant at a certain level of being triggered…

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I can’t really remember most of the session though. In the past, doodling & coloring had helped me stay grounded. It’s no longer as effective. I noticed that because we had talked about grounding, and she asked if noticing and describing helped at all (if I had ever done it). I remember telling her that I had long ago gotten good about being able to interact with my environment while still being “far away”. I used the doodling as an example. I told her I knew I was putting lines and shapes on paper, but I wasn’t aware of what I was doing. I think I also mentioned to her that the doodling had been effective in the past, but no longer was. We talked more about grounding techniques, and I think it helped me come back a bit. She asked me to do something between today and the next appointment, but I couldn’t remember what it was. I called her later and she reminded me it was to try meditation twice a day. I have those short, kid meditations, and I’m supposed to try them during the day and before bed. Hopefully, it will help with my sleep issue also…

That’s right, we talked a bit about sleep as well. I guess sleep disorders are one of her areas of interest. We chatted a bit about it and she told me about a documentary she had seen on it. I guess a steady “diet” of merely 4 hours of sleep for even just a week brings about a drastic decline in coping and functioning… I totally agree.

Anyway, I was supposed to be napping in my few short hours at home this evening, but my head was racing again. I’m playing the meditations though, so it’s at least a bit relaxing. I have tickets to a play tonight (the last of the season tickets from a friend I will be using). I should find something to eat, but I’m not sure what. Maybe I will splurge on food at a restaurant between the parking garage and the theater. Or maybe I will just stop for pizza or something along the way. I dunno… I guess I should get going though, since traffic will be a bear (It took me over an hour to get home from that area around 4pm. heading back down there during peak rush hour on a Friday will likely be worse). I’m bent on enjoying the play though. Gotta take the dogs out first…


the world through gray-colored funhouse glasses

My anxiety is creeping up. I can’t stop the restlessness, so I’m trying to breathe through it. I made flan de coco. I have been bouncing around this evening… I barely paid attention to the recipe as I was cooking. Now I want it to just be finished.

Struggling with how I’m interpreting Thursday’s session. Trying not to read too much into it, but I keep having to remind myself of the actual words said, and not spin them into something else in my head. It’s difficult. Everything is viewed through this really distorted lens of how everyone should hate me (because I hate me)… :/

TM wanted me to ask L for a list of 3 or 4 things that she liked about me. L was more than happy to oblige, and she did so within a matter of minutes. She said it reminded  her of something J would have us do… I read her list and told her she was full of it, and we both laughed. I have a lot of trouble accepting that anyone would love me.

I had all this extra time to think about it, and I can’t come up with a list for L. There’s all this stuff I thought about, but I worry it would not sound genuine. I expect her to react to it like I did, so I don’t want to give it to her. She was so courageous in giving her list to me even though she knew I would summarily reject it. I’m not that brave…

It must suck to live with me and try to love me.


monsters under the bed

I find myself afraid of going to bed. Been battling triggers all day. The only thing that has kept them away has been complete sensory bombardment with TV, music, and computer going all at once (plus bugging the kitties, randomly popping up to pace the house, and trying to do some art). As soon as my brain slows a bit, they start again. Ugh… I’m so cooked.


distractions happen

So… yeah. Didn’t talk about any of the stuff I had intended to talk about today.

She was asking questions about more background stuff, so the session was spent on that. All good info to have, and probably helpful in understanding things, but I had really hoped to at least broach the “neediness” topic. As it was, I got to throw it in as a request for next time (in hopes of keeping myself accountable, and letting her know I really wanted to talk about it). She added brainstorming about it to my homework (though at the moment I can’t remember what the original homework was. oops. I’m sure it will come back to me at some point).

I guess I’m not the only one who can get distracted in therapy.

She looked really sad at points as I was telling her stuff. Again, I’m not sure if it was the lighting or me interpreting things wrong, or she genuinely was sad, but I felt bad for telling her the stuff I told her. I don’t want to make her sad. That would suck. I just want to deal with my shit and move on. I don’t want to contribute to another person’s nightmares again… I guess with her being relatively new to the agency, I could hazard that she was not as prepared for dealing exclusively with trauma day in and day out. I will assume that the cumulative effect of the stories from her clients makes the sadness easier to touch. I also know that I have developed quite a bit of distance and detachment from the stuff I told her about today, so maybe it really is more sad than I think it would be. I still have this paranoid fear of breaking my therapists though, so maybe I need to check in with her around this. I don’t want to do the trauma work with her if it ends up helping to break her. It’s not a nice feeling knowing my monsters have branched out to haunt others as well. I’m on speaking terms with most of them. I can figure out how to quiet many of them relatively successfully. But I’ve also had more years of dealing with them…

On a completely unrelated note (but very much on my mind at the moment. apologies for the tmi to follow). I think I figured out why most woman hate bras: they buy them too tight. I recently purchased a bra in the size they measured me at. HUGE mistake. It’s SO TIGHT!!!! I thought it would be ok, though I normally go one size up from what the FOH person says. I was wrong. I can generally wear my bras all day (like 16 hours). This one I can barely manage 4 hours in. Ugh! Not great for top-heavy people… Time to put this one away and find one of the old ones I can still wear…


Needs and neediness

Feeling quite needy today. Last night was another rough night with flashbacks. Another “new” one popped up.

I had been fighting them all day. We were at a local orchid show when they started, so it was both a bit easier to distract and easier to get lost. There was a whole ton of sensory information. It was crowded, but it was also novel things to engage in/with. On the one hand I was dizzy and disoriented from everything there, but on the other hand there was plenty to bounce between when one distraction stopped working. I concentrated on taking pictures and trying to see all the different plants. I had given myself permission to purchase something inexpensive, so a lot of time was spent cruising around trying to decide on what to get. While there were 100’s of thousands of plants to pick from, most of it was the same basic stuff. After the third go-around, I finally settled on a few small plants. I didn’t want to spend much because I have a really bad habit of not paying attention to the conditions in which the plant thrives. That usually ends badly for said plant…
Anyway, I plugged my music in my ears when things started to get too intense. I even kinda opened up to mom about it. I managed to keep the flashbacks to a 5 (on a scale of 1-10). I knew they were there, but they didn’t completely take over. They kept creeping up a bit the rest of the day, but not by much. Then I tried to do some more “happy” art for TM.

I didn’t feel like working on the original piece, so I started in my journal. The darkness kept wanting to poke through. I noticed the more I tried to keep it out, the worse I felt. Suddenly, I wanted to shred my arms and cry hysterically. It was an intense and violent urge that hit and stayed there. I haven’t cut my arms in about 10 or more years (I had moved from my arms in college, but would occasionally try there again once or twice. Anyway, it’s been a really long time). Then my anger intensified. I resented being asked to be fake in both my art and in therapy (yes, I’m aware she didn’t actually ask me to be fake in therapy, and this is my generalization). I was hurt that I’d have to hide again. My inner kid was crying and sobbing and begging not to be forced to hide it all again. This all happened in about a minute. Then it switched to the flashback…

I was really small in this one, no more than 3… and it was incredibly intense (closer to an 8 or 9 on that 1-10 scale). And it was the full sensory experience (another rarity. I generally only get sensations and emotions followed by cognitive memories. Sometimes I’ll get auditory stuff, but that generally only happens with the ones of my parents fighting)… this one was physical sensation, emotion, auditory, visual, olfactory, taste… it was the total virtual reality experience. And it exhausted me, though I couldn’t fall asleep without help.

Echos of it were there again this morning. The sensation piece lasts the longest,  closely followed by the emotional fallout. The monsters are breaking out of their closet. It’s not fun… they get me desperate to put them away in any way possible. The instinct to self harm is huge when they get bad, but I promised TM I would try everything else first… so today’s plan is to try to be productive. I need to do laundry (and shower, though that can be triggering, so it’s up in the air at the moment), take care of the zoo, kinda clean the house… I can head back out to the orchid show I think (unsure if my tickets are good for the whole weekend, or just one day and we used them already). I can also head out to the craft store to wander (there’s actually nothing I want to buy. This is a first). I may just end up outdoors though. The weather is windy and overcast with storms threatening. I love it. I love being outside in storms. I love the rain and the wind. I love watching the clouds. The rain feels refreshing and cleansing and comfortable… yeah, maybe that’s what I’ll end up doing (and will mother nature to get on with the raining piece)…

Hopefully the icky stuff stays at bay today. I’m not sure how much energy I have to devote to fighting it. I did remember though that TM works today, so if all else fails, I can leave her a message or talk to someone at their crisis line. Still feeling very needy and small, but trying to suppress that.

Oh, here are a few of the pictures from the show.


dilemma

I got a call back from De’s old supervisor today. We actually ended up talking for quite a while (We both apologized simultaneously for taking up so much of the other’s time). We ended on me trying with another clinician there one more time. At first I was a bit relieved to have a trauma therapist again, and to be able to work on the trauma stuff almost exclusively, but now I am hesitant.

I don’t want to take the slot from someone who may need it more, I don’t want to take advantage of the system, and I don’t want to be an exception to the rule. Also, I don’t want to know that I will have to switch therapists again in 4 months if I don’t move… Looking back on my history with therapy, most of my progress was made with therapists I was able to see for more than a few months at a time (and who had more trauma experience). It takes me SO LONG to trust someone, the constant change makes it difficult to progress.

The positives about seeing a clinician at the s.a.c. center would be knowing that I am talking to someone who has more training around trauma, specifically sexual abuse. It might be easier for me to jump into the trauma narrative knowing that my time is very limited. They also have all the notes from De. Oh, and I made it a point to mention to the supervisor that I am aware of my tendency to distract from the focus of therapy and would like help staying on track. She agreed that it can be a lot easier to talk about the day-to-day stuff or deal with a crisis than to deal with the realities of the trauma. If I do end up there (so still up in the air, as I know I can back out even after speaking with the new therapist), I think I will underscore to her that I know my crises and self-harm are distractions. I will ask that she keep pushing me through all the other stuff that I am supposed to be there for in the first place. I know it was a huge relief when De did that a few times. She would have a plan in place for the session, and kinda just spring it on me when I got there. It was helpful in keeping me from getting too anxious, and in getting me through the material…  I actually left those sessions feeling like I accomplished something (or at least felt that way as the week progressed). I wish she had done more of that, but we digressed easily.

Anyway, sorry. I got lost in writing up things to tell the new clinician (wherever I end up). Hoping that if I can write out those “quick & dirty FAQ’s”, then maybe the “getting to know you” phase will go a bit faster at least on her end.  In talking to the supervisor today, I realized that I am kinda getting sick of therapy (at least the inconsistency) so if I can make this next round count enough to get me ok with a break, then all the better. I don’t know if I want to do therapy again when I get back up north if I won’t get to see Dr. C. At least if I can get a bunch of this trauma stuff out of the way down here (where it all happened, where all the huge triggers are), then maybe I won’t be so desperate for support. I’m just so tired of having to start all over again with the trust and the story… also, it’s difficult to find therapists who “think outside the box” in terms of treatment options. Most just regurgitate the same old things tried a million times that ended up not working for me.

The supervisor was explaining that they can adapt the TF CBT method for adults, and that it might be helpful. It’s still in the testing phases, but this center was chosen as a site to implement it and report on the results. If we end up using it with me, the data will be reported anonymously and with notation that it was adapted for an adult. Heck, at this point, I’m willing to try most anything (NO ECT or anything invasive though, never). Who knows… If it works, maybe I can move on with my life finally… That would be nice.

My other options are to 1) stay with TL’s agency and hope I get someone versed in trauma, 2) try D’s agency again, or 3) hope that one of the three EMDR therapists I emailed tonight takes my insurance…I guess I will see what it’s like talking to the therapist from De’s agency. If that doesn’t work, and the three EMDR clinicians don’t take my type of insurance, I will try out whomever at TL’s agency. If even that doesn’t work out, I will contact D’s agency and get more info… If all of that doesn’t work, then I will just take a break from therapy and try to do some self-directed work on it all (pretty difficult with trauma, especially since I feel the need to finally be able to share it, but if I have no choice, I have no choice). Here’s hoping whatever works out, does so for the best.