Tag Archives: endings

Dear TM…

Dear TM,

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

not my image…

 

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

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

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

Trying to remember to breathe…

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

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

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

pieces,
sj


Need help getting unstuck. Ideas?

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


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. ūüė¶

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

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


rollercoaster

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

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

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

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

progress is happening. slow, but happening.

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


I wrote her a letter

I did not sleep much last night. I fell asleep around 3am, only to be awakened by cats breaking things at 5:30am. I went back to sleep around 6:30 after cleaning up all the broken glass, then was up again at 8… I was in no mood to pack boxes this a.m. I was going back and forth about leaving TM a message in hopes of expressing what I couldn’t yesterday. The thought of it made me feel too needy and clingy though.

Instead,¬†I wrote her a letter. It’s not great, but it’s got more in it that I had wanted to express. I also made her a mini-award with one of the “endings” quotes she had printed out for me on the back… the unicorn is supposed to resemble the one in her office. It’s not quite right either, but I suddenly can’t remember what her’s looked like (except for the crazy hair).

Awesome Counselor AwardJohn Irving quote

 

 

:shrugz: I’ll send it out tomorrow after the little card¬†is more fully dry… can’t think too much about the ending though, because my eyes will start leaking again.


don’t know how to allow myself to feel

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

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

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

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

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

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

This sucks.


reality is sinking in slowly

I managed some sorting and packing today. I only packed maybe 3 boxes, but there was a bunch more sorting happening. I now have 4 bags plus one box of donations…

My back had it though. I was going to continue, but it put its foot down. I stepped and tweaked something, so I came to have dinner and sit for the evening. It has since stopped twingeing.

I keep having moments of panic around this move. The dogs certainly are feeling anxious. Mom’s dog is incredibly antsy and hyper. The others are starting to pace. Crusher has not been through a move with me, but the other 3 have gone through several… I think mom is also feeling the reality of the move (It’s only like 2.5 weeks away! Que Daffy Duck-esque freak out). There’s just something different about her… I’m trying not to cry too often and too heavily over this. I’m afraid if I let go too much, I will fall completely to pieces. The loss is too compounded and too huge.

I’m also seeing the notation on my calendar that next week is it with TM… ūüė¶ Fuck. I like her. She “gets” me. She’s been able to decode my communication relatively quickly, and she’s up-front about things… She has a way of blending the professional side with the broken side. As much as I’m psyched to be returning to Dr C, I’m sad to be leaving TM. ::sigh::

Ok, gotta do something else now because tears are about to flow uncontrollably. Stuffing in progress…


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.


thoughts on today’s therapy

It was my second-to-last session with TM today. It ended up really good.

I remembered her wanting to get the assessments out-of-the-way (TSI-II & BDI2), so after the greeting, I mentioned them. She had them waiting next to my chair, along with some journal entries and my timeline to give back to me. I was glad she remembered.

We joked a bit, and kinda chatted while I did the assessments. She busied herself looking up some more quotes for an activity she wanted to do together either today or next session. As I handed the assessments in, I told her that some questions were answered with caveats, but then I suddenly forgot any of the examples (Now I remember that the question around feeling punished on the BDI2 I answered scoring low because it’s not so much that I feel I am punished, more so that I “should” be punished simply because it’s “right”… There was also a question on violence on the TSI-II that I answered high because it was vague, and I acknowledge responding violently towards myself… That one we kinda talked about and she knew why I responded like I did. I answered the suicide/death questions honestly: that I always think about dying, but don’t always have a plan or intent)… I told her I’d be interested in comparing the scores from the first time and now. I know I have a really skewed self-assessment much of the time so I wouldn’t mind seeing it on paper… that & I’m a huge dork around this kind of stuff, so it also holds great academic interest.

I think at about this point TM told me something that blew me away… She reminded me of one of our first sessions, where I refused the descriptor of “therapist” when she had mentioned it. She said she understood where I was coming from (because I never did finish my MA or internship), but that I seemed more insightful, compassionate, and understanding of the therapeutic process than a lot of therapists she has known… ???!!!!???? I think I was in shock and trying to digest that for a good 5 minutes afterwards. I have no idea what topic we moved on to, because I was still reeling (in a good way) from that huge compliment. I was actually so shocked, I didn’t even deny what she was saying… Maybe I could then go back at some point and be a real clinician? That could be cool… It might have been just before she said this that we talked a bit more about my last hospitalization at IOL. She had mentioned the PDoc incident where he threw a stapler or hole puncher at me, and how that was something she never expected to hear happening in a hospital. I brought up that yeah, while it sucked, I’ve had time to process it more. He may have been triggered, or feeling really helpless, or scared, or frustrated (or all of the above) when he did that. It certainly does not excuse his actions, but it would make them understandable. After all, G behaved much the same way: always angry, yelling, violent, abusive… For a lot of years, I had no clue why he was so awful. Then one day we had a more in-depth conversation. He revealed some of his own abuses and traumas. He also said he did not recall being as abusive and horrible as we remember him being… It didn;t excuse his behavior, but it brought an understanding of his motivations. I could empathize. While I am trying my hardest to break that cycle, he was just repeating what he knew…

Anyway… Oh, another thing that I was kinda blown away by from TM was her opinion that I do not fit a bpd diagnosis. She started out asking me why I had self-reported that dx when I first started therapy with her. I honestly don’t know. She is the first therapist I’ve ever volunteered that dx to. Others have either come to it on their own, or been told by a referring therapist and then decided it did not fit. Part of my reasoning was that it had been relatively soon after I had read through my disability records. Most of those had bpd as one of the diagnoses (of course, they also said I was hopeless & bound to live in residential care for the rest of my life unless of course I killed myself first. One PDoc went so far as to say I he did not expect me to survive the next 6 months… and that was oh… 5 years ago now? So I guess I have to take all of that with a grain of salt. TM reminded me that hospital records reflect the worst of my recent history. She also reminded me that they will often pad dx so that insurance companies will continue to pay (I’ve been witness to some “creative billing” in my professional experiences). I’m not sure why I was surprised that TM would say she disagrees with the bpd diagnosis, but I was. She said the “cornerstone” of a bpd dx is unstable relationships (and according to what she read to me from the DSM-V, this is accurate to their wording), which neither of us see in my life. Yes, there’s a fear of losing people, but only because I actually¬†have¬†lost a lot of important and close people in my life. It’s not so much a fear anymore as an expectation… It’s also something I was overtly taught while growing up. And sometimes the people closest to you will hurt you the most, so a difficulty with trust is understandable… She reminded me that while I may be able to check off some of the bpd traits, it makes a lot of sense given my history… Maybe now I can hold on to that longer. I know Dr. C is of the opinion that I do not fit a bpd diagnosis. We had talked about it a long time ago because of my experience with LKB and her insistence that I was bpd & just needed to learn to accept that fact. Aside of Dr C though, no one else had openly and pointedly spoken to me about bpd vs. trauma. I know even D eventually saddled me with that diagnosis. I’m not sure De agreed, though I never asked her. TL and I never spoke about diagnoses either. It was kinda nice to get confirmation from TM as well that my resistance to the bpd label has merit… Personally, I think the whole disorder should be removed completely. I’ve yet to meet someone with a bpd dx who does not also have a trauma history. Bpd comes with SUCH a stigma (which can also lead to an excuse for not working to change the thoughts & behaviors both on the therapist’s end and the clients… think of how you would feel if even the professionals felt you were hopeless) that it’s more a detriment to any person with the dx. I don’t see how it helps the understanding of behavior or attitudes, it simply labels them. I would much rather have an understanding and hope than a mere label… Kinda like labeling someone an alcoholic without taking into account what it’s used to cope with.

Ok, sorry, went off on a soap-box tangent there. So, yeah. Session with TM was good. We laughed and also talked about heavy stuff… Part of me wonders if TM has found me online somewhere. She sometimes brings up things that I have only ever mentioned online either here or in one of the support forums I use. I might have to ask her that next week. At this point, I don’t think I would care since I won’t be seeing her after next week anyway, but if I had found out something like that sooner, I would be censoring more. I already catch myself being careful what I post if I know someone in real life will see it. This blog is written with sensitivity to my wife and my mom having access… There’s something to be said for anonymity and honesty. I’m very careful in what I reveal to others because I have had it twisted and used against me. I’m careful what I write both online and in a physical, paper journal… I actually no longer keep a paper journal because too many have gotten their hands on them and read them without permission… But whatever. I would be interested in how TM thinks to bring some of the stuff up that she does if she hasn’t found me online. Maybe I talk around it enough, or I mention it without realizing it? It’s too much of a coincidence with a lot of the stuff in timing and wording for her to just come up with it out of the blue. Maybe I’m leaving her more messages than I realize? I know a few times I had thought of leaving her a message, but don’t recall doing it, then she mentions the next session that she got my message(s)… Hmm.

I had meant to ask her today if it would be ok if I call once I am settled after the move. It feels less needed now that I know I will be seeing Dr. C again, but I rarely get the chance to update a therapist on how something went after a termination. I get the boundaries of the relationship. I know it won’t go beyond this termination, but I’m hoping to be able to let her know that things went well, and my idea that I will do better back up north and away from the constant triggers is one founded in reality… I know I would love updates on some of my past clients, though that is me. I’m not sure if she would want one… Dunno though unless I ask.


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.

wpid-20150612_204702.jpg wpid-20150612_213110.jpg

 

 

The nipples were totally an accident, but they had us cracking up ūüėČ 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.


Changes…

Change is hard. I’m finding myself more and more uneasy as the move gets closer. I’m avoiding anything to do with it at a more desperate pace. It’s weird. So much positive is coming out of this move, yet there’s this huge fear.

There are expectations when I go back. It feels like they are too much. Yes, I know I was functioning relatively well when I left. I was competent and (mostly) together. I could do (or fake) a whole bunch of stuff. Now though? Now I can barely get out of bed. The days are more rocky then stable. The fake feels too forced… all the losses I never came to terms with the first time I left here are going to have to be dealt with this time around. I’m scared of that.

While I had built distance and walls and a life up there, it all fell apart down here. I’m sure I can get back to a more balanced space, but right now I’m indulging my fear for a few moments. I’m letting the anxiety come in hopes that it will leave again. Emotions are supposed to be like waves after all. They are supposed to hit, peak, then dissipate. Only I find mine hit hard, take forever to peak at impossibly high levels, dissipate, but then are quickly followed by another wave. Kinda like trying to swim in the ocean during a hurricane that never leaves…

Anyway. Yeah. I can do this. o_O


Insights

In talking to TM today, something hit me. We were discussing my utter surprise any time someone actually likes me or wants to see me again. She asked if I’d heard it often growing up. I realized that the only person who ever told me I was worthless was bitch. Everyone else kept telling me how wonderful I was (but don’t let it go to my head). G always felt fake and over the top. Then I realized that hearing how good I was, and how smart I was is coupled with memories of some pretty shitty stuff. It felt like such a revelation when I was able to voice to her that I didn’t want to believe I was good because that would mean crappy stuff was going to happen, yet I don’t want confirmation that I’m as horrible as I believe I am…

Part of my shock when people like me comes from the incongruence of knowing those people won’t deliberately hurt me. How can I be good if that’s not coupled with abuse? That doesn’t compute in my brain, at least not in the emotional one. She was trying to ask if being aware of it made a difference. Sadly, the negative voice in my head is so loud and overpowering, I have trouble believing my rational side.

When I say people should hate me, I’m not looking to hear the opposite from them, I’m just mired in an old emotional/cognitive pattern. I’ve been aware for a while that I have a confusion around associating violation with “genuine care”, but I hadn’t put together that my emotional brain associates being liked and worthy and good with abuse…

Too bad this is coming at the end of working with TM… at least I heard back from Dr C this morning, and she is willing to work with me when I return. It’ll be much easier working with her. And I’m SO glad I don’t have to “start fresh” yet again. (Telling TM about returning to working with Dr C was what prompted the admission that I’m constantly surprised when someone wants to associate with me again).

Oh, and now TM and I are back to the original end date… we talked about it, I avoided making the decision. I attempted to distract her, then we returned to it at the end of the session. I told her that I was unsure, but that I needed to feel in control of the ending. In a moment of weakness, I admitted that I would really like to keep seeing her through the next 2 weeks if it was still an offer. I started to give voice to that negative stream of thought that said she was probably really just wanting me gone, then I stopped myself and let her tell me what she thought or felt about it. She said the offer still stood, but that it was also going to be accompanied by the plan to call her or the crisis line if I started to get overwhelmed. Check. I can promise that. I work really hard to keep my promises, especially to people I care about. Now I just have to keep from getting overwhelmed because I really don’t want to bug her between sessions, and I certainly don’t want to have to call their crisis line.

Now I’m off to the beach for some centering time. And I’m feeling good after talking to TM today, so hopefully no further planning will happen while there (like I said, don’t want to bug TM between sessions). I’m sure I’ll post pics later. It’s funny how I used to hate the beach, now I want to be there all the time.


the safety of a doorknob disclosure

With the end looming for my therapy,¬†I find myself wanting to spill all sorts of info to TM. I’m not sure why. I suddenly have questions and thoughts and I want to ask her a whole bunch of stuff about my abuse and ptsd and self-harm… why can I only muster this resolve when I’m moving on to someone else? It’s like it only feels safe enough to bring all this up when the threat of having to see the person again is over. I am suddenly realizing I trusted her enough to express this stuff, but I kept freezing and getting scared before. I always worried she would hate me or use what I told her against me in some way. I didn’t think she would actually do those things, but I feared she might… Now I want to get as much support from her as possible, only it’s too late because there isn’t enough time.

These are the ultimate doorknob disclosures. They are all the big things I was scared to address, but now I desperately want to find support around… :sigh: Will I ever learn to do this while there’s still time to talk?

 


Dear TM…

Dear TM,

Now you are seeing the hopeless mess that I can become. I don’t like that you will remember me this way. I don’t like that we are ending on this note. I’d prefer you to think of me as someone who can figure shit out and make it in life (coz someone needs to believe that about me. I certainly don’t)…

I’ve put up walls b/c I need you to be a stranger right now. I need to be able to leave without feeling completely crushed about all the losses. It’s not just you I have walls up around. It’s the house, and the state, and mom, and the dog and cats, and art time with my friend, & everything… I’m only going to allow myself to miss the beach. That is all. Everything else is too raw and too painful.

I still want to ask if it would be ok if I called you once I’m settled again… I was going to ask if I could call you on the anniversary day, but it will end up being the day we leave. I will need to concentrate on driving and hanging with the wife… I hope she knows she will have to do the first leg of the journey, the one that gets us out of the driveway and away from this neighborhood. I’m not sure how to say goodbye to all this…

Maybe the IOP will work out? I’m not getting my hopes up, because I don’t have faith in them billing for copays, but at least I can go to the intake without having to pay anything that day. Then we can go from there. The little kid in me wants to keep seeing you as much as I can before I go, but the other part of me sees the heaviness of the depression and knows I would be better off with more support…

I really have no idea what I’m doing, but I know I will come out the other side. I always do.

Please don’t actually hate me, just maybe let me think you do for the moment.

Pieces,

sj


5 am, we meet again.

It’s 5 am. I’ve been awake since 3:30 after having fallen asleep around midnight… this has been a trend for about 3 weeks now, interrupted only by me remembering to take benadryl a few nights here and there (when I don’t have to function at all the following day). This insomnia is certainly not helping my depression or functioning.

If we weren’t in the process of referring out and termination, I probably would have reached out to TM about the increasing lack of sleep. Now? I dunno. I can’t get over feeling like there’s a boundary there I need to keep to. We are ending. Reaching out for anything other than scheduling feels like a big “no-no”…

I keep coming back to frustrations around a lack of support. I’m guessing the IOP will not work out due to finances. I don’t want to ask TM to extend our sessions until I leave merely for support. She’s got limited availability as is, I don’t want to keep wasting her time… that leaves me with trying to muddle through on my own.

I’ve thought about reaching out to friends and family for support, but I feel like a huge bother. There were a few times I wanted to talk about stuff with L, but she’s got so much on her end, it’s not fair to bug her with it (and I’m not totally sure how to talk about it). I had tried to process Wednesday’s appointment with TM, but she quickly switched back to talking about whatever was going on for her that day. I didn’t attempt to revisit. I know, my fault. I should be more assertive in wanting to talk, but I feel so defeated and overwhelmed, I’m not going to beg anyone to sit through my struggle to articulate things; not TM, not L, not anyone. It’s just all pointless.

Part of me wants to call insurance today to see what can be done in terms of accessing additional support, but I really don’t like asking for favors. I don’t want the hospital program to do anything out of the norm for me. I don’t want to bother TM with anything. I don’t want to ask for more. I’ve taken plenty already, I should be good with all this… only I’m not. I’m coping on the outside and crumbling on the inside. My internal resources are running dry again. Bed is looking more and more inviting 24/7/365… there’s other things that are yet more inviting, but they are not an option despite being on my mind all the time…

I just have to get through this move, then I can worry about what to do up there again. I gotta get through this move…


Goodbyes suck

They really do.
That is all…

image


That mythical move is actually set to happen

We found a place that will take all of our dogs. The move that was supposed to happen over a year ago is finally happening. As excited as I am to be back with my wife, the reality of the circumstances around the move are hitting hard.

Now comes crunch time. I have to pare down a lifetime of things to fit into 850sqft… and it will take our things 2 weeks to arrive. That means I have to figure out what we absolutely can’t live without for 2 weeks. That also means I have to get L to invest in some larger Tupperware up north because the critter homes will be in transit a lot longer than it will take us all to drive up… this should be “fun”, lol.

I’m still trying to figure out what to write to TM as my goodbye. I’ve not had this much trouble with expressing “thank you & goodbye” in a long time… I’ve started 4 times, and I’ve trashed each one. I’m supposed to have it for tomorrow. Dunno if that’s going to happen. Maybe by next week (our last session), I will have it down.


(not so) brief update

I met with TM today. I had dragged myself out to an art journal class last night, so I was feeling a bit better when I met with her. We processed Thursday’s session a bit, and came up with a relatively solid plan for an ending. We will have 2 more sessions. I was able to express how much I really need a proper goodbye, then we commiserated on our mutual dislike of endings. We both have homework for next session: to write about/express what this ending means to us… That will be hard. I started mine, but it will be a process over the next few days.

We also chatted a bit more on a professional level about the therapy process and what’s been helpful or not. I asked her if my gut feeling around the gravity of Thursday’s appointment was accurate. She clarified that, while safety concerns were on her mind, she wasn’t having the conversation with the intention of forcing any action. We then had a short conversation around the added trauma caused by involuntary commitment. I joked that it also makes for a mountain of paperwork. I’m glad we are on the same page on the subject. We spoke about trust briefly…

She gently called me out on something that drives me nuts when it happens to me, and I was doing it to her (though that was not my intention). She was expressing concern over something, and I simply said “no” and shook my head. While I meant it in the sense of “you shouldn’t be wasting energy on me like that, I don’t deserve/warrant it”, she took it as a denial of the validity of her expression. She looked at me and said something along the lines of: “I’m telling you how I’m feeling. You don’t get to invalidate that”… and how right she is. It drives me nuts when I hear one of my parents say “no, you don’t feel that way; you feel this way.” Who are they to know how I feel?! Maybe they would not feel the same, or they don’t want me to feel like that, but the reality is that I do. Same with TM today. While I didn’t want her to be concerned, she was. I didn’t have either the knowledge or the right to tell her otherwise… I’m really gonna miss her. :/

Overall, a good session today. I’m really sad there’s only 2 left. There is still so much I want to tackle, but there isn’t time. She did ask how I wanted to work on the ending, and I reminded her I sucked at them, and had no real concrete ideas on the spot. I told her there were a few things I wanted to wrap up, but I wasn’t sure we could finish it. I definitely want to cover that one bit of homework I had given her several weeks ago, but we didn’t really address. I also want to wrap up some of the other csa stuff I had started to talk about but again couldn’t finish… There won’t be enough time though. It sucks.

The anxiety about the building being so reminiscent of a locked unit is slowly going down. More and more decor is showing up, and it’s looking friendlier. The obnoxious buzzer is still startling though.

I really clicked with TM. Yeah, I tried hard not to let myself get too attached, but that failed. Now I find myself missing her before we are finished. I laughingly told her that I would appreciate her making this termination easier by becoming a bitch so I could hate her… It won’t happen.

UGH! I hate endings. You would think after 18+ therapists in as many years I would have this figured out, but it’s still all a learning process. All I know is that proper endings are really important. I might go cry over this again now ūüė¶


an end date…

There was so much I wanted to talk to TM about today, but none of it made it to my lips…

We did talk a bit about last week’s confession around how shitty I’m feeling. We also tried to brainstorm some stuff to give me structure. Well, ok, TM tried to brainstorm. I was having trouble focusing. They moved to the new office over the weekend. I guess today was their first day open at the new location. Nothing was ready. I almost wish TM would have just rescheduled me either to later in the day, or another day. It would have sucked, and I would have felt like shit, but it would have been more productive than today. I guess we were productive for stuff on her end, but not on mine. I kept paying attention to all the noises elsewhere in the office. And the room we were in reminded me very much of a hospital… I hope next week it will be more settled.

She kept trying to tell me it was ok to ask for more support. She talked a bit about the various therapeutic programs and how they took a while to get into. She mentioned some volunteering. I just couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying. ¬†We determined that our last session would be June 23rd…

I kept wanting to wheel myself out of the room (we were both in rolling desk chairs). It looked and felt too much like a locked unit. I kept worrying that I wouldn’t be allowed to leave. Rationally, I know that wouldn’t have happened, but it triggered the fear in me. I wasn’t able to put together that I was triggered till long after I left her. I just knew that in the office, I kept pushing myself and my chair as far back as possible, and I was scared of TM. I wanted to reach beside me and open the door, but I kept thinking it was locked. It felt like TM was matching my discomfort because her chair was all the way back against her wall also. I’m not totally sure if she realized that, or if it happened by accident. I kept waiting for the conversation to turn to me needing a higher level of care, and then being hospitalized. It didn’t happen, but part of me was surprised to have walked out at the end of session. It’s not even like I mentioned safety concerns to her, we actually talked about how much better I have been handling this than in the past. It was just that the room looked so much like a locked mental health unit, I couldn’t pull out of the fear…

I think we may have talked about other things too, but I’m not sure what. Maybe those things took up the whole session time. I know I wanted to tell her some of the stuff flying around in my head. I wasn’t sure how to get them past my lips. I wanted to hand her some of the stuff I had been meaning to give her for the past 2 weeks. I wanted to talk a bit about the support forum. I wanted to talk to her about my experience talking to a friend about some of the stuff TM and I have been covering. None of it squeaked out. None of it made it through the panic.

I kept apologizing for being a pain in the ass. She asked again what made me think I was being annoying. I tried to convey that I had answers, but couldn’t find them in the moment, and that is what I thought would annoy her. I couldn’t get past the internal panic though… I kept giving her “I don’t know” because I couldn’t access the answers in my own head. I couldn’t “act as if”. I couldn’t function… I tried to think whether or not I would be annoyed at a client if they presented like I did. I landed on “no”, but I also could not then translate that to apply to myself. I tried to tell her my self-esteem and lack of self-worth didn’t allow me to move out of that head-space, but it all sounded like jargon to me. I imagined her thinking how annoying I was, how frustrating and resistant and willful I was being, and that if I could just stop being that way, we could get somewhere. I tried again to gain an outside perspective, but I still couldn’t apply my own patience with others to myself. Who am I to warrant any compassion? (At the time, a combination of speaking with a DBT clinician and multiple hospital experiences were crowding my head. I remembered being blamed for not trying hard enough, for not being able to use my skills, for being resistant and willful and deliberately sabotaging my recovery because I was stubborn. I couldn’t separate it from the experience of speaking with TM in the present. I couldn’t look at her, and in my head she looked like the DBT clinician L)…

I did manage to tell her about the line of thinking that allowed me to see some smidge of self-worth last week, and how I kept going back to it to try to get through the weekend. Even as the words left my mouth though, they felt stupid and contrived. I was suddenly reacting to her like I would have G. I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing in the wrong way, or because I wasn’t calling her the most intelligent and worthwhile person on the planet, I was being disrespectful. I didn’t attribute all of my change in thinking¬†to her though. I told her of the success and quietly waited for her to blow up at me… Again, the full realization that I was triggered and responding to the past rather than TM or the moment only hit me long after I left.

We set up a time to check in on Thursday. I protested about being bothersome, so she was going to leave it up to me to call if I needed, but I was able to tell her that I would prefer having something scheduled. I told her I would probably agonize over calling her then end up not deeming anything worthy of bothering her for. She said we would schedule it and she would call Thursday… She left an invitation open for me to call tomorrow too if I feel I need it. I instantly shook my head. That would be too much of an imposition to be able to agree to. Though thinking about it now, I may leave her a message hoping it lessens the anxiety. I would like to be able to let her in on what went on for me today without wasting too much session time.

Even writing about it all is triggering a lot of anxiety and fear. I really hope next week feels different. It will be more than a week for settling in (because of the holiday next week), so I really hope they get things decorated and set up better. And I really hope TM’s office doesn’t feel as triggering as the random room we were in today. When I speak with her on Thursday, I should remember to ask if it would be ok for me to leave her a message over the weekend to help get through it. I know she won’t be there or anything, and I wouldn’t expect a return call. It just sometimes helps to leave her messages.

 


o_O

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ellie Goulding love & some ramblings

Recently got my hands on 2 Ellie Goulding albums and I must say I am in love with Halcyon Days!!! I think there are about 7 or so tracks that I absolutely can’t stop listening to. At the moment, I’m loving on Explosions. “on the day you wake up/Needing somebody and you’ve learned/It’s okay to be afraid/But it will never be the same/It will never be the same//You left my soul bleeding in the dark/…/And I’ve lost my faith in everything”… the tone of it matches my mood today (though I am interpreting it to be about her leaving due to domestic violence now that I read the lyrics. eh, whatever. the way she sings it still very much fits my mood right now)…

I’m also really loving Dead in the Water (apparently from the Divergent soundtrack)

 

and How Long Will I Love You

I see TL tomorrow. Still thinking I want it to be our last session… I’m finding I’m obsessing way too much about it/her so best to just walk away. I do that when I’m about to lose someone out of my life, I need a stranglehold on them before they slip away, and it’s never been a healthy thing. So I’ll take the painting (which today I am concluding it stupid and I hate it, though I may feel different tomorrow about it) and give it to her and tell her it needs to be the last session, and can we talk about whether or not I will be seeing someone at the agency (and hopefully not have to switch again) after her. I know she had said that was the plan, but it doesn’t feel like it right now. And I’m not sure I want to go through this again (I know, I say this every time). It just sucks to learn to trust someone only to know that you have to figure it out again with someone else down the line.¬†Also, I had visited with Dr. C for a bit while up north. She will be retiring in the coming year, so unless I get back up there soon, I will be looking for yet another new therapist. It’s an exhausting process. I just don’t want to keep doing it… (though at the same time, know the neediness is worse when I don’t have that support)… I don’t know. I wonder what the point of it all is sometimes. Why bother trying to trust someone with the heaviness if I never do get around to talking about the really heavy stuff before I have to switch again and start it all over again. I’m tired. I’m spent on building trust and trying to figure things out every few months. I’m tired of finally getting to a comfort point of being able to bring up the ickier stuff only to find out that the person is leaving and all that vulnerability was for nothing…

 

Explosions

You trembled like you’d seen a ghost/And I gave in/I lacked the things you need the most,/You said where have you been?//You wasted all that sweetness to run and hide/I wonder why/I remind you of the days you poured your heart into/But you never tried//I’ve fallen from grace/Took a blow to my face/I’ve loved and I’ve lost/I’ve loved and I’ve lost//Explosions…on the day you wake up/Needing somebody and you’ve learned/It’s okay to be afraid/But it will never be the same/It will never be the same//You left my soul bleeding in the dark/So you could be king/The rules you set are still untold to me/And I’ve lost my faith in everything//The nights you could cope,/Your intentions were gold/But the mountains will shake/I need to know I can still make//Explosions…on the day you wake up/Needing somebody and you’ve learned/It’s okay to be afraid/But it will never be the same//And as the floods move in/And your body starts to sink/I was the last thing on your mind/I know you better than you think/’Cause it’s simple darling, I gave you warning/Now everything you own is falling from the sky in pieces/So watch them fall with you, in slow motion/I pray that you’ll find peace of mind/And I’ll find you another time/I’ll love you, another time//Explosions…on the day you wake up/Needing somebody and you’ve learned/It’s okay to be afraid/But it will never be the same.


Quote – endings & beginnings

Every ending is also a beginning, we just don’t know it at the time.

– Emily Prentiss, Criminal Minds (Run – s7e24)


it’s almost here

Today was my second to last appointment with De. ¬†I’m glad I wrote stuff for her to read before, because I couldn’t figure out how to say what I needed to while I was there. ¬†She walked me through some ideas on how to deal with the down time (though it wasn’t quite what I had hoped. I had wanted to make up a schedule and things that I am expected to do, but she just left it at a coping skills list and I wasn’t able to say that I had hoped for more). ¬†Then she indulged me by showing me my chart. ¬†I pretty much knew what would be in there, but I needed to hear it from her. ¬†My head sometimes comes up with things even though I know that it would be unlikely. ¬†She showed me the intake, copies of the handouts she had given to me, the checklists she had to complete, the assessments we had done, and she read some examples of the notes she had written. ¬†She asked if it was what I had expected. I told her I figured it was that kind of stuff, and that the notes would be as vague as they were because it’s pretty much standard across agencies for confidentiality reasons. ¬†It gave enough info to convey what we had done, but not enough to give away too much information should any records be summoned to court (they are the county sexual assault services center as well as a child protective services branch, so records often go to court, lawyers, police, etc). ¬†They are also audited by the national accreditation agency, and supervisors see the files. ¬†I knew there would be no judgement either way, just objective statements, but I needed to hear that. ¬†My head had been getting too loud with the negative judgements I have towards myself. ¬†It was getting mixed up with what I knew she would be writing…

She also told me that she had spoken with the clinical director at the new agency. She was able to give a better picture than just the intake would, and she said she advocated for me getting someone who “is not scared of self-harm” and someone who would not switch over again before I moved. ¬†From what she told me, she gave a pretty accurate picture of what we had done, what has been helpful, and what some of my obstacles are. ¬†Because I have been so caught up on “I should know better” lately, she made it a point to convey that, while I have a background in all this and I can be pretty insightful, it does not mean I necessarily know how to apply it to myself. ¬†I’m really appreciative of that, because it’s so hard to explain to a clinician that yes, I can spout all this theory, insight, and planning, but I can’t always implement it… and it makes me feel like crap. If I’m so good at this with others, why the heck can’t I figure shit out for myself?! ¬†De was gentle in reminding me all clinicians are actually human also. We have our struggles and weaknesses. ¬†We have our bad days (or in my case, bad decades). And we all reach out for help at some point either because we are stumped about a client or about our own lives. ¬†I guess it’s along the same lines of MD’s sometimes needing to seek out medical attention from someone else. :sigh: If I could figure out/remember how to fix myself in the moment, I certainly would…

Anyway, she asked if there was anything else I wanted to cover. ¬†I told her I had “wanted to show her some more art, but…” She offered to go the full hour, and I was able to say that I didn’t necessarily want to talk about any or all of it. ¬†She still expressed interest, so I handed her the newer art journal. ¬†It wasn’t as full as the WTJ, but still had stuff I wanted her to see. ¬†I wished we had time to talk about it because some of it came up after a difficult session last week. ¬†I guess that will have to wait to be talked about with someone down the line, I’m just not sure who and when because it’s still very raw and vulnerable and very much wrapped up in the past. ¬†I’m not sure I can go into some of that stuff with someone else anytime soon (though it is something that is with me daily). ¬†I just don’t know if I want to take that risk again knowing that whomever I end up seeing at this agency will definitely be time-limited to only a few months. ¬†It’s too raw to be able to trust enough to go into in such a short time-frame…

We wrapped up… she reminded me Tuesday will be our last session… I know. ¬†trust me, I know. ¬†Part of me wishes she had asked why my answer was what it was when she asked how I felt about the upcoming break in services. Part of me is happy I didn’t have to go there with her… I really need to be able to figure out how to say goodbye by Tuesday. ¬†I had written something out, but I don’t think it says what I want it to. I at least have the weekend to mull it over and try to come up with something better. ¬†I did write to her asking to not let me leave on Tuesday without being able to say goodbye though…


therapy today

would it be bad of me to let her know I lied? I’m not sure what I want to accomplish by telling her… Maybe it’s just that lying to her is not sitting well with me. this ending is really kicking my ass. ¬†I’m spiraling out, and I don’t know how to get a grip from it. other endings have not sucked this bad. I don’t know what to do with it. When I try to talk to her about it, she just tells me that she is sorry it’s so hard, and that I need to separate it from the other loss in which it’s so entwined. only, I don’t know how to do that…


well that was a first…

for the first time in my entire history, I spaced on a therapy appointment today. ¬†I never miss appointments without extenuating circumstances, and never simply because I forgot, except for today. ¬†I was sitting there bopping to my music and making jewelry when my phone rings (rudely interrupting my very bad singing). ¬†I recognize the number as the one De calls in from, so I answer, still thinking nothing of it. ¬†We get through our greeting, and then she tells me I had an appointment with her today. ¬†She said she was wondering what happened because I call even if I’m only going to be 5 minutes late. ¬†In my defense, we have had our weekly meetings on Fridays since the holidays. ¬†I apologized to her and promised nothing was wrong, but I just forgot that we had switched to Thursday this week. ¬†Luckily, she has time tomorrow. ¬†This would have been the last appointment before a 3 week break. ¬†I’m still kicking myself. ¬†Either I’ve got nothing urgent to talk about, or I’m in massive denial about the stress next week’s changes mean (or some combination of both). ¬†Mostly, I think it’s denial. ¬†Next week, L and I head up north. ¬†I will be going for 6 days, but she will be staying up there to try to get us re-established. ¬†We have not packed much beyond 2 boxes. ¬†there’s still laundry to do, and plans to be made for how to get myself and the “kids” back there… and there’s no plan for how my days will be spent once I no longer have L around to pass the time. ¬†We are refusing to look at all this stuff, because it’s hugely scary (but also exciting). ¬†We don’t have the best track record for cross-country moves that actually accomplish what we set out to do. ¬†So now what? ¬†Panic has yet to set in. ¬†Even a sense of urgency might be helpful (less than a week…). I also have yet to “realize” that today’s session with J was our final one. ¬†It was the same as all the others. ¬†I didn’t make much of an effort to say goodbye, though I know I should have. ¬†The only thing different this time was that we hugged before leaving, and we did not make any further appointments or plans to meet up. ¬†I’m sure it will all hit at some point either this week, or when I get back on the 20th to find that “normal” no longer is.

Too many goodbyes recently. ¬†I don’t like it. ¬†Too much loss coming up and resurfacing. ¬†I’m trying not to realize that we effectively re-homed one of our cats (the one who is miserable here and much prefers living with the older couple down the street). ¬†The loss of Twiggy hit again today when a box of her specialized food arrived from the vet today. ¬†I guess they automatically send out “samples” of the specialized food when the test results warrant it. ¬†Too bad it’s 2 weeks too late… I miss Twig. ¬†I know she was hurting a lot before she was put to sleep, but I still miss her presence in the house. ¬†It’s ok to miss the ones you love, even if their passing is for the better. And now I will miss Danny too, though he is still alive.

So I’ve spent my days obsessing with jewelry-making, art, and spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need because it’s easier than dealing with crap that is about to slam us. ¬†I’m playing games on the computer and on my phone that I have not touched in weeks. ¬†I make every effort to leave the house when I can get away with it. ¬†I throw myself in to everything but the things that need addressing. ¬†Heck, I’m even working on random therapy stuff to avoid dealing with other, more looming, more frightening things. ¬†J has a quote she has told us many times in the last 2 months: “if you are just scared, you don’t want it enough. if you are just excited, you already have it, if you are both scared and excited, it’s worth it” (or that’s the gist of it). ¬†I think I’ve draped a thick blanket over everything because I’m neither consciously scared or excited about this, I’m simply going with it because that is what we have decided to do, and there is no real other option. ¬†If I look into myself hard enough, I see the fear and the excitement I’m trying so hard to ignore. ¬†I catch glimpses of it in the tears of loss, and the avoidance. ¬†I notice it in my drive to push every thought of it out of my head (because, really, who wants to realize that within the week they will be separated from their significant other for several months, or think of having to uproot everything they cultivated in the last 18 months). ¬†I throw myself into anything and everything that enables me to push the thoughts away. ¬†It will catch up real soon, but for now, I rival the skill-set of those most versed in denial and avoidance.


It’s not about my sudden support for the Huskies

I’m not a sports fan. ¬†I could care less about sporting events 99.9% of the time, unless it’s my alma mater sweeping the men’s and women’s basketball championships. ¬†The UConn women clinched their 9th championship, and the men their 4th. ¬†I’m proud, if for no other reason than I was indoctrinated to 5 years (I was on the longer-term plan due to mh issues) of Husky Fever when basketball season rolled around. ¬†There was no choice. ¬†The campus would erupt for the games, and pride ran high. ¬†There was no escaping it (and I worked at the school’s campus bookstore during and a bit after college).

L knows I generally don’t pay attention to sports. ¬†She enjoys them, and gets frustrated when I don’t join her excitement. ¬†The last 2 weeks however, I have posted a few things on my fb account about the Huskies going to Championship titles again. ¬†I rooted for them a few times… But as I said in the title, this isn’t about the Huskies.

Stress is running high at home. ¬†L’s move back up north is in about 4.5 weeks. ¬†The house is physically in chaos with the work we are doing on the walls. ¬†Couple’s therapy is soon to wrap-up. ¬†L’s individual therapy is ending. ¬†Changes are ever-closer on the horizon. ¬†It’s scaring us both. ¬†There’s no guarantees that things will be better up north financially or in terms of our living situation. ¬†We may have to find a long-term foster for one of our dogs. ¬†We will live apart for the first time since we moved in together 6 years ago… The stress has brought about more than one “tiff” between L and I. ¬†She reacted strongly and negatively to my “sudden” support for sports. ¬†We argued about it, and she admitted there was more to it than that. ¬†I, in my frustration at her anger, told her to figure out what’s beneath it. ¬†She came back later saying that it’s a self-esteem thing. She said that she looks to my validation of her (and everything she does, likes, supports) to bring her some semblance of self-worth. ¬†It makes sense then that she 1) was upset when I told her again that I didn’t care about sports, and 2) suddenly seemed to become a fan. ¬†She berated herself for needing so much outside validation from me. ¬†She had no idea my frustrations this week were rooted in similar places. ¬†One of our arguments has been about the animals and her resentment towards them. ¬†She is cranky about them, and we disagree regularly about how many we should keep, and what the ideal amount of furry and scaley kids would be. ¬†We argue over spending any money on them at all. ¬†Earlier this week, I was hurt that she seems to resent or hate “most everything” that means a lot to me. ¬†That was the fuel behind argument one this week. ¬†It kills me when she snaps at the animals, or gets cranky, or gets frustrated when they need something. ¬†Instead of telling her how hurt I was by this or why it hurt me (I didn’t really know how to put it into words at the time), I snapped at her. ¬†I was curt and passive-aggressive in not wanting to talk to her or be around her… We also had the sports argument more than once this week, but this morning she was able to put her finger on why it bothered her. ¬†When she voiced that, I realized that I also look to her for a lot of my self-worth. ¬†When she doesn’t love something I’m passionate about, I question the validity of my passion. ¬†When it’s something as integral in my life as my animals, her disapproval hurts that much more. ¬†How can I reconcile the fact that my wife really hates a huge part of “me”? ¬†(she will say she does not hate them, but that she thinks they make our lives more difficult. ¬†I know she has valid points, and I know she does not, in fact, hate them. ¬†My head however, interprets that as hate for one huge reason: G used to say things along those lines but with actual hate. ¬†L is NOT G. ¬†She never could be. ¬†But my head takes the smallest similarities and blows them up into triggers that set off complex emotional reactions. ¬†My self-worth is tied hugely into the animals and my ability to give them a good life (let’s forget for a moment that a lot of the time depression makes this really difficult to accomplish with any regularity). ¬†It is also tied heavily into my wife’s acceptance and love for me. ¬†The animals are “part” of me, so when she gets mad at them, I see it as her getting mad at me. ¬†When she resents them, I take it as resentment of me. Huge cognitive leaps, I know, but I’m good at those (and so is L, because she says she feels the same way about things she holds dear)…

So now we have recognized and labeled all of this. ¬†We have talked about it briefly. ¬†We have come to an understanding of sorts, but I am not sure if that will necessarily change our individual reactions to rejection by the other. ¬†I hope we get to see J this week because I think we need someone else off of whom to bounce all this. ¬†We need J to be her regular “Ms. Obvious” and point out what we are missing. ¬†My emotions are still really raw. ¬†If L’s are anything like mine, this will not be the last argument we have this week. ¬†I know I have a tendency to instigate frustrations with someone who is about to leave (even if only physically and only for a few months). ¬†It is easier to separate physically if you are angry at someone; you don’t long for their touch or presence (or you try to convince yourself you don’t), and the days of suddenly being apart are hopefully made easier by the buffer of anger (no matter how ridiculous or nit-picky)…I know I do this. ¬†I can see it just after I have done something to anger the other or myself. ¬†I just don’t really know how to catch myself before doing it. ¬†I don’t know how to think things through without opening my mouth too early. ¬†I know how to look back and point out how stupid I was being. ¬†That’s not very helpful though once the person you care about is now genuinely angry or hurt. ¬†:sigh: ¬†As I have been fond of saying over the last few weeks: anger suddenly seems easier to deal with than sadness or fear…


The power of goodbye

The funny thing about logic is that it is not very convincing to our emotions when we feel so fearful of losing someone or something.

I keep trying to remind myself that sometimes emotions can drown out the logic… I think I’m driving De nuts with my incessant neediness and desperate bid to be reassured that she will not drop me before the move. I know I’m driving myself nuts (come to think of it, I don’t think she knows the half of the battles in my head about the fear of losing her too.¬† I think I’ve only actually mentioned it to her once, but torture myself regularly with it)… it’s funny how my head can blow things way out of proportion.

I’m also trying to convince myself to let J in on what she had meant to L and I over the past year. I never want to let people in for fear of rejection and more hurt, but I regret it every time. I know L wants to tell J how much she had meant to us, but I don’t know if I can articulate it well enough. It would make me want to cry, and I desperately hate crying. I hate being vulnerable. Like I wrote to De the other day, I either know how to be totally together, or totally needy and helpless. I have not found a middle-ground yet. Maybe opening up to J about what this loss feels like will be a good step? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that not saying a proper goodbye hurts more and longer than having closure. I think I will write that stuff down, and have L do the same, because we have a great way of avoiding things with J, and she tends to go along for the ride. Since next week will be our last session, I want to make sure we don’t miss the opportunity to say goodbye. It will suck, but I know it needs to happen. I wish I still had that article written by an old mentor’s husband on the importance of proper termination in therapy, and proper closure in relationships in general. He stressed the importance of saying “goodbye” even if you would see the person or place again, because it would not be under the same circumstances. Dr J made a huge thing about saying goodbye to people and places upon graduation. She stressed to her interns the importance of termination in therapy. I think that needs to be stressed everywhere. Too many people avoid goodbyes because they are painful in the moment. They forget that the pain then intensifies as time goes on because closure was denied… if I could go back and get closure to every significant relationship that was denied it, today’s pain would be less. It doesn’t negate the loss, but it cushions it. To this day I regret not having a proper goodbye with both my aunt and uncle. I regret not having a goodbye with my high school best friend. I regret not having it with my college roommates and friends. I regret pushing people away because it hurt too much in the moment.¬† Maybe what I need to ask for from De is not a promise not to leave before my move, but the promise to get a proper goodbye whenever that may be… I asked for it once when I worried that I would be too unstable to continue with her and she had said yes. I think I just need reassurance that I’ll get one before we end no matter when that is.